Judge locks Lubbock terror case out of public view on Monday - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Judge locks Lubbock terror case out of public view on Monday

Khalid Aldawsari (Photo provided by Lubbock County Sheriff's Office) Khalid Aldawsari (Photo provided by Lubbock County Sheriff's Office)
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Lubbock terror suspect Khalid Aldawsari will not be in open court on Monday.  U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings canceled a courtroom status conference hearing.  Instead, the hearing will be held in the judge's chambers, presumably out of the public's view.

Aldawsari is accused of trying to make a bomb in his central Lubbock apartment to blow up a nuclear power plant, or hydro-dam, or even the home of former president George W. Bush.  If convicted he faces up to life in prison.

The judge's decision seems to run counter to a very recent appeals court ruling that customarily open criminal proceedings cannot be closed to the public without prior notice.

According to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, "… an opportunity to be heard should generally be afforded to the press and public before the closure of a proceeding to which a First Amendment right of access attaches."   

KCBD NewsChannel 11 can find no such notice in the court record.  

The Fifth Circuit ruled on May 17th in a Houston area criminal case in which the Hearst Newspapers (specifically, the Houston Chronicle) was not allowed into the courtroom when a defendant was sentenced.

The Fifth Circuit went on to say that even if the decision to close a hearing is correct, a judge still cannot do it until first taking steps to safeguard First Amendment rights.

Copyright 2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved.

  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • Breaking

    Man hit by vehicle in West Lubbock

    Man hit by vehicle in West Lubbock

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 10:57 PM EST2017-11-23 03:57:46 GMT
    Source: KCBD GraphicSource: KCBD Graphic

    A man is in the hospital Wednesday night after being hit by a vehicle in West Lubbock, near the intersection of 34th & Alcove.

    A man is in the hospital Wednesday night after being hit by a vehicle in West Lubbock, near the intersection of 34th & Alcove.

  • Olympic gymnastics ex-doctor pleads guilty to sex charges

    Olympic gymnastics ex-doctor pleads guilty to sex charges

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 1:51 AM EST2017-11-22 06:51:40 GMT
    Wednesday, November 22 2017 10:54 PM EST2017-11-23 03:54:32 GMT

    Olympic gymnasts Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas are among the women who have publicly said they were among the doctor's victims.

    Olympic gymnasts Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas are among the women who have publicly said they were among the doctor's victims.

  • Cold War drama caught on video as N. Korean soldier escapes

    Cold War drama caught on video as N. Korean soldier escapes

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 2:11 AM EST2017-11-22 07:11:49 GMT
    Wednesday, November 22 2017 10:53 PM EST2017-11-23 03:53:53 GMT

    On a cold, grey afternoon, a lone North Korean soldier races toward freedom, the shock of his comrades palpable as they realize he is defecting to the South and start sprinting after him.

    On a cold, grey afternoon, a lone North Korean soldier races toward freedom, the shock of his comrades palpable as they realize he is defecting to the South and start sprinting after him.

Powered by Frankly