Court hearing set in Maryland newspaper shooting case

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A judge in the case of a man who pleaded guilty to killing five people at a Maryland newspaper scheduled a Tuesday afternoon hearing to consider whether any additional court records should be made public in the case.

The hearing in Annapolis comes after the Capital Gazette, where the shooting took place, and Baltimore Sun filed a motion asking Judge Laura Ripken to unseal most of the court file.

The Capital newspaper’s review of Maryland court records found an apparent loophole that allows documents filed electronically to be kept from the public. The review found nearly 70% of 1,465 court documents were being kept from the public at the end of last year.

Jarrod Ramos pleaded guilty but not criminally responsible in October to killing John McNamara, Gerald Fischman, Wendi Winters, Rob Hiaasen and Rebecca Smith in the June 2018 newsroom shooting. Ramos has pleaded not criminally responsible because of his mental health, Maryland’s version of an insanity defense.

A second phase of his trial for a jury to determine whether he is criminally responsible is scheduled for March.

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