Judge Ordered To Reconsider Sealed Records In Planned Parenthood Shooting Case

Judge Gilbert Martinez
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A new twist in the battle over public records in the Planned Parenthood shooting. We've told you before that they're all sealed. Well, Monday the Colorado Supreme Court ordered the local judge to reconsider.

The local judge will make another decision about the records on Wednesday when Robert Dear is back in court. He's made it clear in the past: he wants the records to stay private. But he also said he could reconsider.

They are our source of information for you--the viewers--in any criminal case: affidavits, court papers. They are open to the public. We request several of them every week and we tell you about them all the time.

But Chief Judge Gilbert Martinez issued a gag order for the Planned Parenthood shooting case.

"I think it's fairly unprecedented," said attorney Steven Zansberg.

All of the documents are sealed, including information about accused gunman Robert Dear's arrest and the search of his home.

"I haven't seen a judge misconstrue what a prosecutor said in open court the way the order does," said Zansberg.

Zansberg is representing several media outlets, including KKTV 11 News.

"The district attorney did state in open court that the people he represents do not oppose unsealing, but only wanted to redact discrete pieces of information: the names of victims, certain witnesses and certain discreet information about ongoing investigations beyond the 179 felony counts," said Zansberg.

In a phone call last week, Dear told 11 News he has been found incompetent, though it hasn't yet been officially announced.

"My lawyer just came to the jail and said, 'Look, it says there on that page, Dr. Gray from Pueblo says that he's incompetent to stand trial,'" said Dear.

Now the Colorado Supreme Court has ordered Judge Martinez to reconsider his decision.

"We know the basics of what happened on November 27, but it's very much a principal that we the people have the right to know what our government officials are doing," said Zansberg.

“The purpose of having open court files and judicial proceedings is so that the public can monitor the conduct of those government officials," he added.

11 News reached out to Judge Martinez, but his office said he can't comment on it since it's a pending case.

We'll let you know what happens Wednesday.

Dear is facing 179 counts of crimes for the November 27 shooting that killed three and injured nine.