Robert Boyer, a former reporter for The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer, has been convicted Tuesday for failing to leave a crime scene, the newspaper reports. Last March, he was charged with resisting, delaying or obstructing a police officer. The charge is a misdemeanor. District Court Judge Cheri Beasley sentenced Boyer, 44, to 60 hours of community service. The newspaper is appealing.
The defense argued that the police broke department policy by failing to use crime-scene tape to block public access to the street where a murder had occurred. City policy said that media representatives can go on foot “past police or fire barricades and roadblocks” on public streets and sidewalks outside the crime-scene perimeter. In this case, an officer blocked the street entrance. A sergeant said the officer was “a piece of talking crime-scene tape.”