Home Section
Find a Home Email News Classifieds Shopping Subscribe Careers Find a Car
 News
  Births
  Business
  Calendar
  Columns
  Commentary
   Editorials
   Letters to the Editor
   E-mail the Editor
   Other Opinions
  Obituaries
  Headline Stories
  Today's Headlines
   Top Stories
  Local
  Sports
  Winter Guide
  Education
  Community News
  People
  Religion
  Weather
 
 Special Report: Vermont Yankee
 
 Classifieds
  Classifieds
  Find a Car
  Find a Home
  Find a Job
 
 Vermont Links
  Bennington Banner
  Berkshire Eagle
  Manchester Journal
  N. Adams Transcript
 
 Entertainment
  Arts
  Audio
  News
  Movies
  Trivia
  TV Listings
 
 Services
  Who We Are
  Feedback
  Privacy policy
  Letter to the Editor
  Search Archives
  Subscriptions

Article Last Updated:
Friday, March 29, 2002 - 12:34:21 AM MST

Judge denies request from Woodwards
By TOM MARSHALL
Reformer Staff

BRATTLEBORO -- A federal judge has denied the family of Robert Woodward access to information it was seeking, dealing a setback to the family's civil suit against the town.

Judge Garvan Murtha ruled the family's attorneys must wait 60 days for evidence in the police shooting case, granting Attorney General William Sorrell's request for a temporary stay.

"The incident at issue took place recently, and this litigation has been pending in this court for less than two months," Murtha wrote. "There will be virtually no disruption to the court's docket if a stay is granted."

Woodward, 37, was shot and killed by Brattleboro police on Dec. 2 after he burst into the All Souls Unitarian-Universalist Church, asking for sanctuary from the government and threatening himself with a knife. In late January his family sued the town -- as well as the two officers who fired their weapons, Terrance Parker and Marshall Holbrook -- for negligence.

Family attorney Thomas Costello had said he would sign a confidentiality agreement in order to gain access to the knife, autopsy reports, and 911 transcripts, promising not to release evidence that might jeopardize the state's inquiry. But Murtha said there was no pressing need to grant that request before the state's investigation was finished.

"The stay requested by state parties is relatively brief," he wrote. "Granting the stay will have a minimal effect on the plaintiffs' ability to secure an expeditious resolution of this matter. Furthermore, both the state and the public have a substantial interest in having the pending criminal investigation completed without unnecessary and collateral interference."

Murtha ordered both sides to file a discovery schedule for information-sharing by June 3.

Sorrell took charge of the state police investigation into the incident in late January after State's Attorney Dan Davis withdrew over a potential conflict of interest. Since then, officials have released virtually no information on their plans, aside from a promise to eventually decide on the appropriateness of a grand jury or formal charges against the officers.

Most recently, Sorrell said in early March that he needed to re-interview witnesses in the case to fill in gaps in testimony. Those interviews were scheduled to conclude this week.

 
ARTICLE OPTIONS
  • Print this Article
  • E-Mail Article
  • Link this Article
  • OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS SECTION
    3/29/2002
    Compass students bring the Bard to life

    Committee narrows possible bridge designs down to three

    Rabies episodes on rise

    Fund raising to fill the gaps How Act 60 has driven some towns to provide 'beyond the basics'


    1999-2002 by MediaNews Group, Inc. and NENI Newspapers

    Today's Weather
    High: 38°
    Low: 27°

     Special Sections
      Bus.&Industry2002
      DotCom Directory
      Home Improvement
     
     Community Guides
      Bennington VT
      Cambridge NY
      Hoosick Falls NY
      Vermont Links
     
     Lifestyles
      Health & Nutrition
      Horoscopes
      Lottery Results
      Soap Opera Recaps
      Video Reviews
     
     Featured Channels
      Search the Web
      Abracat
      Headbone Zone
      Mapquest
      Travel
      Uniglobe Travel