- Associated Press - Friday, March 2, 2018

RIPLEY, W.Va. (AP) - The West Virginia hearing of a man accused of fatally sexually assaulting the 10-month-old daughter of his then-girlfriend in 2016 has been closed to the media and public.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Jackson Circuit Judge Craig Tatterson approved a joint motion from prosecutors and defense attorneys to close 33-year-old Benjamin Ryan Taylor’s hearing Thursday. Taylor is charged with first-degree murder, among other charges.

County prosecutor Katie Franklin moved to close it, citing a 1980 state Supreme Court case that says a judge must consider if the defendant’s right to a fair trial will be damaged if court proceedings remain open. It also says a judge must consider if pre-trial hearing discussions will increase adverse publicity.

During the three-hour hearing, the attorneys argued over evidence of lab results.


Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.

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