The Utah Supreme Court has denied a Logan man's request to restrict press coverage of a Wednesday hearing for arguments on his challenge to the constitutionality of Utah's murder statute.
In a short minute entry, the court denied a request by attorneys for Steven Ray James, who wanted the court to prohibit reporters from reporting on James' prior convictions. The justices also allowed a television camera, as has been their practice for more than a year, despite James' request for no videotaping.James was charged with first-degree murder in the October 1986 death of his 3-month-old son, Steven Roy James. The infant's body was later found wrapped in a blanket and anchored with rocks in a marsh near the Bear River.
James told police the infant was abducted from his pickup truck while parked outside a Logan pharmacy.
James' attorney, Robert Gutke, believes Utah's murder statute is unconstitutional because it allows prosecutors to charge first-degree murder by using prior convictions as aggravating circumstances. Gutke also wants the trial moved to another district.