Judge unseals Lee Roy Williams video

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - On Wednesday afternoon, Judge Kent Savoie unsealed the video made by investigators as they interviewed Lee Roy Williams back in September.

KPLC has been seeking the release of the video in order to air excerpts as part of our news coverage of the four Labor Day weekend murders at Fairview Trailer Park.

Last week, Williams was indicted for four murders, pleaded guilty and received four life sentences. Since then, KPLC has been trying to get a copy of Williams' video statement to investigators. A twelve minute part of it was played in open court during his preliminary hearing held a few weeks ago.

Judge Kent Savoie sealed the video statement to prevent pre-trial publicity, but now there won't be a trial.  On motion of KPLC, the judge is expected to sign an order unsealing the video.

On behalf of KPLC-TV attorney Michael Garber filed a motion to try to get the video unsealed. "It's already been made public in the hearing that took place prior to the arraignment and guilty plea. And so if it's already been made public, there's no reason why it shouldn't be publicized through the media if the media wants to do it."

Also, when the media is forced to spend money to go to court to fight for the release of pubic records it can potentially hamper freedom of information in general. That's because the cost may discourage the media from seeking such records. "The press shouldn't have to spend money that they don't need to spend. It's expensive to go to court no matter who you are. If the information's public it should simply be made public."

You can watch some of the video if you look for the video clip on the right hand side of this page.

Copyright 2010 KPLC. All rights reserved.