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Visits Denied to Shooting Suspect

August 7, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A federal judge is denying, for now, a request that relatives be allowed to visit the hospitalized man charged with killing two police officers in a shootout at the Capitol two weeks ago.

Russell E. Weston Jr. was shot four times after he allegedly burst through a metal detector at a Capitol entrance crowded with tourists July 24. Weston’s family has had no contact with him since he left his parents’ Illinois home the day before the shootings, allegedly carrying a shotgun and pistol.

Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson said Thursday she will consider a request for a family visit only after Weston appears in court to hear the murder charges against him.

Weston’s lawyers say he will not be well enough to appear in court for several weeks. Defense lawyer Barry Boss left open the possibility that Weston could be arraigned at D.C. General Hospital, where he is under heavy guard.

``The request that defendant be allowed a social visit ... while his initial appearance before a judge of this court is delayed is incompatible with the end of a just determination of this proceeding,″ Robinson wrote.

Weston could face the death penalty if convicted of killing officers Jacob J. Chestnut and John Gibson. He has not entered a plea.

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