Judge orders disclosure of redacted Jonelle Matthews autopsy report

The Greeley Tribune: Weld District Court Judge Shannon Lyons ordered Thursday night the disclosure of a redacted version of Jonelle Matthew’s autopsy report.

Oilfield workers came across Jonelle’s remains July 23, 2019, about a quarter of a mile northwest of Weld County roads 34 1/2 and 49. The Greeley Tribune requested the autopsy report from the Weld County Coroner’s Office under the Colorado Open Records Act. On Jan. 17, Coroner Carl Blesch filed a petition to withhold the report on the grounds it would be against the public’s interest.

Lyons heard arguments Thursday from Assistant Weld County Attorney Karin McDougal and Denver attorney Steve Zansberg who represented the Tribune and CBS Denver, which also requested the autopsy report. Blesch argued the report, whether in its entirety or redacted, should remain sealed until the investigation’s completion. It isn’t entirely clear why Blesch wanted the report to be sealed, as McDougal, Blesch and Weld District Attorney Michael Rourke entered about 15 minutes of private testimony to testify why the report needed to remain sealed.

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