A top St. Louis County, Mo., administrator has raised questions about a St. Louis prosecutor’s pledge to obtain a court order to release evidence reviewed by a grand jury in the Ferguson, Mo., case if officer Darren Wilson (pictured right) is not indicted, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
St. Louis Court Administrator Paul Fox also brushed back claims by prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch that the presiding judge, St. Louis County Circuit Judge Carolyn Whittington, had agreed to the release the evidence if requested, the report says.
Fox said in a statement Sunday that the judge would have to “analyze the need for maintaining secrecy of the records with the need for public disclosure of the records,” the newspaper notes. The statement comes as a nation awaits the grand jury’s decision in the Aug. 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown (pictured left).
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:
Fox also said the comments attributed to him in a Sunday Post-Dispatch article saying Whittington had agreed if there is not an indictment to grant such a request were “not accurate.”
“The court will need information it doesn’t have,” Fox said in the statement released Sunday. “It does not know the names of the witnesses who have testified before the grand jury and it has not heard the testimony or read transcriptions of testimony. The court has not seen documents or material presented to the grand jury….
“The court awaits the decision of the grand jury. The court will thereafter be guided by the law in its response to requests for grand jury records.”
But McCullough has been adamant in the past about the release of the information. And just last week, McCulloch’s office sent emails to dozens of news reporters from around the nation about how they will be able to access grand-jury documents and testimony on a website if there is no indictment in the case, the newspaper writes.
“There’s no probably about it,” McCulloch said to KTRS-AM host McGraw Milhaven on Sept. 24. “It will be released … We’ve asked the judge to do that and the judge has agreed that she will do that. If there is no indictment, she will authorize the release of the testimony and the physical evidence that was presented to the grand jury.’’
Accordingly, if Wilson is not indicted, the public may never know what evidence the 12 panelists reviewed to reach a decision. If Wilson is indicted, there would be a trial and evidence would be made public in the trial, the newspaper notes.
Ed Magee, a spokesman for McCulloch, could not be reached Sunday. Whittington also could not be reached, according to the Post-Dispatch.