County Prosecutor Fights Local Media to Keep Hearing Closed
Yakima television stations have teamed with The Yakima Herald-Republic to fight the Yakima County prosecutor’s request to close upcoming Kevin Harper hearings.
At one time, Harper was the main suspect in the 2011 brutal killings of the Goggin family.
Last year, prosecutors agreed to a plea deal where Harper agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges and would only serve about seven years in jail.
Now, prosecutors say Harper violated the terms of that deal and they want it overturned. They’re asking for a closed-door hearing on it to avoid tainting the jury pool.
Our lawyers filed a legal motion Wednesday against that request, saying it is not supported by law.
“If this were to be closed, it would shut out the publics opportunity, one more opportunity to see exactly how the prosecution is handling it,” said Bob Crider, editor of the Yakima Herald-Republic.
A hearing is scheduled for June 13th. At that point, a judge will hear from lawyers on all sides of the issue.
Harper’s attorney is also asking for the courtroom to stay open and accessible to the public.