Media organizations protested, but a Prince William County judge has not commented on the closing of a key hearing for a 17-year-old charged with capital murder.
According to Inside Nova, the News & Messenger, along with the Washington Post and WJLA/News Channel 8, sent Judge Janice J. Wellington a letter in March, protesting her decision.
Virginia law states that juvenile court proceedings should be open to the public when the defendant is over the age of 14 and is charged with offenses that would be felonies if committed by an adult. The judge can close the case for a “good cause,” but must state the reasons in writing as part of the public record.
In this particular case, no written statement was made and calls to Wellington seeking response have not been returned.