Arguments are shaping up on two sides regarding a letter somehow connected to accused police killer Curtis Michael Allgier over whether the document should be open for the public to see.
Allgier, 28, is charged with aggravated murder in connection with the 2007 shooting death of prison guard Stephen Anderson. Salt Lake County District Attorney Lohra Miller has publicly stated her office will seek the death penalty if Allgier is convicted. He currently is being held in the Salt Lake County Jail with no bail.
Allgier's lawyers contend the letter is not a public document and have asked a judge to seal it. Prosecutors have agreed with defense attorneys that it should be sealed.
However, the Deseret News is challenging the attorneys and has been joined by the Salt Lake Tribune and the Headliners Chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists.
The media organizations would like their attorney to be able to read the so-called "Cobb letter," as it is referred to in the court dockets. This would not jeopardize Allgier's right to a fair trial, they contend, and would give them equal footing with Allgier's lawyers as far as arguing whether the letter should be sealed.
Allgier's lawyers maintain the document is not a court proceeding nor is it a document from either the prosecutors or defense attorneys in the case, but rather a third party who sent it to a judge who had no involvement with the case when it was received.Both sides are filing written motions regarding this one aspect of Allgier's overall case, and a hearing has been set for Sept. 23 before 3rd District Judge Sheila McCleve.