Judge denies Christopher Watts defense request for investigation into media leaks

Times-Call (Longmont): A Weld County judge has denied a motion to investigate media leaks in the case of Christopher Watts, who made national headlines after he was arrested last month for the murders of his wife and children.

Watts’ defense attorneys, public defenders John Walsh and Kathryn Herold, on Aug. 29 filed a motion asking the court to have “the government” investigate extrajudicial statements that could prejudice a jury in the case.

The motion included a number of news articles citing “sources close to the investigation,” including one that cites a “Frederick police source” and contains information still not available to the defense attorneys.

While the defense had not yet received any discovery by Sept. 4, “a source from the Frederick Police Department continues to feed the media materially prejudicial, extrajudicial ‘information’ about the ongoing investigation,” Walsh and Herold argued in a supplement to their motion.

Prosecutors must follow the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, which forbids them from saying something outside of court that could create prejudice in a legal proceeding.

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