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|Man Accused in Stabbing Death Makes Court Appearance; Cameras, Microphones Used
|It was an otherwise routine court hearing for a man charged with murder for a suspected stabbing death a few weeks ago.
"Mr. Lefler will be asking that a preliminary hearing be scheduled."
Public Defender Jim Harrell representing 25-year old Kai Lefler of Oneida, facing multiple counts of both First- and Second-Degree Murder, along with counts of Involuntary Manslaughter, Possession of a Weapon by a Felon, and Aggravated Battery, during a hearing this morning in Knox County Circuit Court. Lefler allegedly stabbed 23-year old Robert Kilgore during an altercation January 20th outside 18 Chestnut Street.
Monday was the first hearing in court where television cameras and radio microphone joined newspaper cameras in covering a court proceeding, now that Knox County is involved in the pilot program allowing cameras and microphones in trial courts.
Harrell filed a routine motion in the case -- a motion asking to preserve evidence. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for February 19th. Lefler remains jailed on $1 million bond.
Knox County Circuit Judge Scott Shipplett told WGIL prior to the hearing he knew the day would come when Illinois would join most other states in allowing what's termed "extended media coverage."
"The prevalence of media and the Internet, and just media in general and the public's right to know and their demand for information, is overcoming a lot of our old prejudices about taking care of business in these courtrooms where it's closed, other than when people bother to come in," Shipplett said.
Shipplett says one hand, the public needs to know how the judicial system works, but on the other hand, he does have concerns about such coverage possibly prejudicing a potential jury.
(Kai Lefler talks with Public Defender Jim Harrell Monday in Knox County Circuit Court.)
(Television and newspaper photographers stand by during Lefler's hearing Monday. WGIL News Story and Photos by Will Stevenson.)
|01 28 13 by Newsroom
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