(CN) – A Florida newspaper was properly denied access to an audiotape transcript in the case of the attempted murder of an NFL player, a Florida appeals court ruled.
Morris Publishing Group LLC, which publishes The Florida Times-Union sought access to a transcript of the case of Tyrone Hartsfield, who was accused of trying to kill Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Richard Collier. Hartsfield has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.
The court denied the newspaper access to the transcript because it may contain exempted admissions or confessions. Also, the court decided that keeping the tapes confidential would help Hartsfield to receive a fair trial.
In a per-curiam decision, the Tallahassee-based judges of the Florida Court of Appeals ruled that the newspaper is not entitled to the transcript because it did not follow the rule requiring it to make a written request for the record to the custodian of the court.
“Although denial of relief for this reason may appear to place form over substance,” the judges wrote, “the presiding court judge stated twice that the court could best consider petitioner’s arguments if reduced to writing.”