Judge: Some records in slaying of 4 can be open to public
Sep. 21, 2017
AYER, Mass. (AP) — Some court records in the case of a Maine man charged with fatally beating his mother, grandparents and their caretaker in a Massachusetts home can be made public, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Judge Margaret Guzman impounded the records after Orion Krause, of Rockport, Maine, was arraigned Sept. 11 in the slayings in Groton three days earlier.
Media outlets challenged the order on constitutional grounds, and the judge rescinded it Wednesday although she said some of the documents will remain closed to the public in accordance with state law.
None of the redacted records will be released immediately because Krause's lawyer, Edward Wayland, was granted a request that they remain closed while he appeals the decision. He said the documents should remain closed to protect his client's right to a fair trial and the privacy interests of his family.
"Future jurors in this case will be discussing these things long before my client has the ability to challenge their admissibility," Wayland said.
Krause, 22, a talented musician who recently graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio, is being held without bail at a mental health facility for a competency evaluation. His next court date is Oct. 30.
In his request to keep the files closed, Wayland included affidavits from a psychiatrist and Krause's father, Alexander Krause, who said that opening the records would cause the family grief.
"In just the past two weeks I have had to bury my wife, my in-laws, and see my son confined to an institution for the criminally insane," he wrote. "Must I now also read the grisly details of the crime scene in the newspaper?"
Krause has pleaded not guilty in the killings of his mother, Elizabeth Krause, 60; his maternal grandparents, Frank Darby Lackey III, 89, and Elizabeth Lackey, 85; and their caretaker, Bertha Mae Parker, 68.
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan has said a baseball bat was found at the scene and may have been used in the killings. No motive has been disclosed.
Ryan's office, which sought impoundment of the records at Krause's arraignment, did not oppose the motion to open them.