Paper Gets Court Records On Son Killing Mother

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A teenager from Sparta, N.Y., accused of killing his mother said he stood pointing a shotgun at his mother's head, “waffling back and forth on whether I should do this or not,” before pulling the trigger, said court documents released yesterday to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Nathan DeWispelaere, 18, is charged with second-degree murder in the May 22 shooting of his mother, Lizabeth, 48, in their home. The victim was the director of nursing at a skilled nursing facility. The Democrat and Chronicle sued to obtain a transcript of a preliminary hearing after a town justice ordered it closed. A transcript of the hearing and the hearing's two pieces of evidence were provided to the newspaper by Livingston County District Attorney Thomas Moran. DeWispelaere told investigators that he killed his mother after she accused him of using drugs.

Christopher Thomas, the newspaper’s attorney, said that, “Before closing the public's courtrooms, the public – through its eyes and ears, the press – must be given an opportunity to be heard and to object to court closure. This is because most everything that happens in a public courtroom is public property and is the public's business.” Prosecutor Moran said he released the documents because, “After close review, it appeared that the public's right to know superseded the rights of the individual in this particular case.”


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