Texas Media Seek Open Juvenile Court Hearings In Fatal DUI Case


Six media outlets in Dallas-Fort Worth joined yesterday to ask Tarrant County juvenile court Judge Jean Boyd that any hearings regarding Ethan Couch be held in open court, reports the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. Boyd made national news for sentencing Couch, 16, to 10 years’ probation and therapy for driving drunk and causing a crash that left four people dead. After the uproar, in another case involving a teenager, the judge twice barred everyone not connected with the case from her courtroom. In that case, a 17-year-old was accused of beating a 16-year-old to death with a hammer. The 17-year-old, who was a juvenile at the time of the beating, pleaded guilty.

The Star-Telegram, The Dallas Morning News, KDFW/Channel 4, KXAS/Channel 5, WFAA/Channel 8 and KTVT/Channel 11 jointly filed a motion in Boyd's court requesting that if she contemplates closing future hearings in the case, they be given reasonable notice of any closure motion so their arguments to keep the hearing open can be heard. Boyd gave no reason when she closed the court in the unrelated murder trial, so the plea in intervention also requests that the court “decline any closure motion absent a showing of good cause articulated along with findings specific enough that a reviewing court can determine whether the closure order was properly entered.”

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