Attorney files criminal complaint against newspaper editor

Thursday, June 19, 2008

STANFORD, Ky. — A criminal complaint has been filed against the editor of a weekly newspaper in central Kentucky after a photo of a murder suspect was published.

The (Danville) Advocate-Messenger reports that public defender Susanne McCollough filed the complaint against George Lewis, editor of The (Stanford) Interior-Journal.

The complaint alleges that Lewis “violated the confidentiality of a juvenile court proceeding” by taking the photo of Jamarkos Campbell, 23, in late April and publishing it on May 1.

Campbell was charged last April with killing two Lincoln County men in 2002 when he was still a juvenile. Kentucky juvenile court proceedings are closed to the public.

In a complaint filed May 2, McCollough alleges that Lewis committed a misdemeanor offense on April 22 when he took a picture of her client through the door of a district courtroom during a juvenile court proceeding.

Lewis' attorneys, R. Kenyon Meyer and James L. Adams, have filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. They argue the statute cited by McCollough is a directive to court officials and doesn't apply to the public, including Lewis.

They also argue that the entire statute is “unconstitutionally vague and overbroad.”

Lewis offered no comment when contacted at his office in Stanford by The Advocate-Messenger on June 17. The newspaper offices closed at noon yesterday, and a home listing for Lewis couldn't be found in time for this story.

McCollough's voicemail said she was unavailable until June 25.

Lewis is scheduled to be arraigned in district court tomorrow, but Lincoln County Attorney Daryl Day said the date could be moved to avoid a scheduling conflict.

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