A Green County judge ruled Friday that the public has a right to view a future hearing on whether a teen accused of fatally shooting his newborn daughter should have his case handled in juvenile court.
Green County prosecutors charged Logan T. Kruckenberg-Anderson, 16, as an adult with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse in connection with the death of his daughter, Harper, who was born Jan. 5.
Prosecutors allege that after Harper was born in an Albany home, Kruckenberg-Anderson took her to the snowy woods and shot her because he and the girl’s mother, who is in her teens, did not want to keep her.
The mother told police they had only discussed dropping Harper off at a local fire station or some “adoption place,” however, according to the criminal complaint.
Defense attorneys representing Kruckenberg-Anderson argued two motions that Judge Thomas J. Vale ruled against Friday.
The first asked for a future reverse waiver hearing—wanting to move the case to juvenile court—to be closed to the public.
Guy Taylor, who is defending Kruckenberg-Anderson, argued that the potential pool of jurors would be “polluted” by all the publicity about the case because the public would see the judge’s opinion on the matter to be debated at that hearing.
He also said having such a hearing broadcast over video would likely compromise his client’s rights.
The case has already received extensive publicity because the state Department of Justice shared the criminal complaint in a news release.
But Assistant District Attorney Laura Kohl argued that the balancing test Vale had to make should consider the “huge benefits and long tradition of open court.”
She said the defense did not provide enough specific reasons about how its case would be harmed by having that hearing public.
“They (members of the public) need to know that we are doing our jobs correctly,” she said. “That we are being fair. That the court and the parties are handling things appropriately.”
Ultimately, Vale denied the motion to close the reverse waiver hearing.
He also ruled against a defense motion that asked the prosecution to provide what is known as discovery earlier than usual. In this instance, the motion mainly referred to police reports and statements made by Kruckenberg-Anderson.
Kruckenberg-Anderson is scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12. The reverse waiver hearing will happen at another date, which could be scheduled after the preliminary hearing.