GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS.

X

A visitor looks over tributes on April 9 as they hang on the temporary fence surrounding the parking lot in front of a King Soopers grocery store in which 10 people died in a late March mass shooting on Table Mesa Drive in south Boulder.
A visitor looks over tributes on April 9 as they hang on the temporary fence surrounding the parking lot in front of a King Soopers grocery store in which 10 people died in a late March mass shooting on Table Mesa Drive in south Boulder.
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

A video taken inside the south Boulder King Soopers during the mass shooting earlier this year won’t be played during the suspect’s upcoming preliminary hearing, after a judge ruled the suspect’s right to a fair trial overrides the public’s right to see it.

Boulder Chief Judge Ingrid Bakke recently granted Boulder County District Attorney’s second motion on the issue, which requested that the video be withheld from public viewing until a possible trial.

“Finally, the Court finds the Defendant’s right to a fair trial and impartial jury pool overrides the right of the public to access Exhibit One,” according Bakke’s order. “Given the nature of the allegations, the public interest in this case, and the sensitive material contained in Exhibit One, the Court finds making Exhibit One publicly accessible risks tainting the jury pool in both Boulder County and across the State of Colorado as a whole.”

Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa (Boulder Police Department / Courtesy photo)

Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21, is charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder, 47 counts of attempted first-degree murder, one count of first-degree assault, 10 counts of felony possession of a prohibited large capacity magazine and 47 crime of violence sentence enhancers.

The preliminary hearing for Alissa was originally set for Sept. 7 but was delayed to allow officials time to determine whether he’s mentally competent to stand trial, according to past reporting. A review hearing will be scheduled within 30 days from when the advisement was made on Sept. 3.  A rescheduled preliminary hearing is expected to follow roughly two weeks after that.

In two motions, the Boulder District Attorney’s Office indicated they were planning to present as evidence in the hearing an eight-minute video showing Alissa’s movements in the store from several different camera angles.

Prosecutors asked Bakke to view the video before the hearing so it is not played publicly, and to withhold the video from public release, according to past reporting.

The first motion was also granted by Bakke.

Following the first motion, media attorney Steve Zansberg, president of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, told the Denver Post he felt Bakke’s ruling went against a new rule put in place by the Colorado Supreme Court this year that governs when judges can suppress court records from public review.

In Bakke’s ruling of the second motion, she directly addressed the new rule, which governs public access to court records in criminal cases and explained that her ruling is in compliance with it.

“The Court finds the People have complied with Colo. R. Crim. P. 55.1(2) and (3), the order said. “The People identified the specific record they seek to make inaccessible to the public in their Motion and complied with the rules of service. The People advanced multiple reasons for making the request and included a specified duration for how long they seek to make the court record inaccessible.”

The second, longer motion was filed Aug. 23 and was granted Sept. 3.

“As this Court is aware, due to the nature of the crimes at issue, there has been a large media interest in the case since its filing,” the motion read. “The People are concerned that if the Court were to make People’s Preliminary Hearing Exhibit One available to the public, there is a risk that the media or other members of the public would publish People’s Preliminary Hearing Exhibit One widely.

“The publication of People’s Preliminary Hearing Exhibit One could potentially taint the jury pool in this case. Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa maintains his right to a fair trial and impartial jury in this matter. Additionally, the publication of People’s Preliminary Hearing Exhibit One will potentially act to further traumatize not only the victims and victims’ families associated with this case, but the community as a whole.”

Boulder County District Attorney spokesperson Shannon Carbone said even though the video will not be shown during the preliminary hearing, witnesses will still be on stand to testify to its contents.

“In other words, although the video will not be viewed in open court, the contents of the video will be the subject of testimony by the witnesses at the preliminary hearing,” she wrote in an email. “We filed the motion in an effort to avoid re-traumatizing the victims, their loved ones and the community by playing the video itself at this early stage.”

Defense attorneys did not object to either motion nor did they respond to requests for comment regarding the ruling on the section motion.

Killed in the March 22 shootings at 3600 Table Mesa Drive were Eric Talley, 51; Denny Stong, 20; Neven Stanisic, 23; Rikki Olds, 25; Tralona Bartkowiak, 49; Teri Leiker, 51; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62; and Jody Waters, 65.