Warrants to be released in Newtown investigation

  • Associated Press
  • March 28, 2013 - 1:59 AM

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Search warrants used in the investigation of the Newtown school shooting are being released along with a statement from prosecutors about their work to unravel the motives of the 20-year-old gunman.

The warrants, which were to be released on Thursday, are related to searches of gunman Adam Lanza's home and car. They have been sealed under an order that expired Wednesday, and prosecutors have made few details available, despite pressure to do so.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has expressed concern about leaked information appearing in the news, and state lawmakers have requested a more complete accounting of the case as they address gun control and other issues raised by the shooting.

A Danbury Superior Court judge on Wednesday granted a request by the prosecutor overseeing the investigation, State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky III, to withhold some details. Sedensky asked to redact the name of a witness, saying the person's safety might be jeopardized if the name were disclosed. He also asked that the release not include other information such as telephone numbers, serial numbers on items found and a few paragraphs of an affidavit.

Lanza shot his mother to death inside their Newtown home on Dec. 14 before driving to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he massacred 20 first-graders and six educators. He killed himself as police arrived. Authorities have said it will take until June or later for the investigation to be completed.

The Associated Press and other outlets have reported previously that Lanza showed interest in other mass killings and authorities found literature on other massacres at his house

Malloy announced last week that additional information would be released at his request. Malloy expressed concern that some information about the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook disclosed by a top state police commander at a recent law enforcement seminar in New Orleans was leaked.

"Like many others, I was disappointed and angered to learn that certain information about the Newtown shooting had been leaked, specifically with concern for the victims' families who may have been hearing this news for the first time," the governor said in a statement.

A column published last week in the New York Daily News, citing an unnamed police officer who attended the seminar, reported that Col. Daniel Stebbins discussed evidence that suggested the Newtown gunman studied other mass slayings and dedicated extensive planning to the rampage.

The seminar was designed for law enforcement professionals only and sensitive information dealing with the tactical approaches used by first responders to the Sandy Hook shootings was discussed, state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said.

Senate President Donald E. Williams Jr. said this week that legislative leaders hope to review the search warrant documents before finishing work on a bipartisan bill that addresses gun control and other issues related to the massacre.

A judge denied a motion by the AP and five newspapers seeking to intervene against any move to extend the current 90-day seal of the warrants. Sedensky had said earlier that the request to intervene was premature because the state hasn't filed any further requests.

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