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article imageSandy Hook DA keeps witness name secret due to fears for 'safety'

By Ralph Lopez     Mar 28, 2013 in Crime
CT State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky, again asked a judge to redact the name, or names, of at least one witness "cooperating" with the investigation due to fears for "their personal safety and well-being."
The judge granted the motion. The names appear in search warrant applications which were unsealed today.
In January Sedensky submitted, and was granted, a motion to seal, for 90 days, the search warrant applications and the evidence found in alleged shooter Adam Lanza's home and his mother's two cars. In that motion Sedensky argued that unsealing the warrants might "seriously jeopardize" the investigation by disclosing information known only to other "potential suspects."
Superior Court Judge John Blawie granted both motions. The Connecticut Post reports that it is unclear whether Sedensky is referring to more than one witness.
The Connecticut Post also reported that law enforcement sources, through an unnamed family member, said that there was no surveillance video of the crime.
If the report is true, it suggests that either no surveillance cameras captured any images of Lanza or the victims, or that the school district-wide policies on surveillance cameras enacted in 2003 were not implemented. Twenty schoolchildren and eight adults died in the massacre. At the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, a letter was sent to parents on the installation of an entrance monitor. It is not known if the monitor captured images on film.
Section 7-406.1 of the Newtown Public School District Student Policies web portal, entitled "Camera surveillance on School Grounds" states that "Camera surveillance equipment will be used to view and possibly download surveillance footage of incidents which may have occurred" and that "Surveillance data will be stored for a period of five days."
The CT Post reported yesterday:
The family member who asked not to be named said police told them there had been no video recording of the crime at the school.
The limited unsealing of the search warrant affidavits comes after the Associated Press ran an article critical of police refusal to release the 911 call audio and the written police reports on the shooting. Although extensive police scanner chatter was captured and posted on Youtube, the actual first calls to the police station from inside the building have yet to be heard by the public.
Of the two wounded adult witnesses, one's name is not being released by police. Other than these two witnesses, anyone else who might have actually seen Lanza is dead. One surviving child hid under a pile of bodies. School nurse Sally Cox hid under a desk as Lanza entered the room and saw only his boots. Initial reports of him looking her "in the eye" were later retracted.
Other critics of the level of secrecy surrounding the investigation say that evidence of activity by numerous males on school grounds, as police closed in, has not been adequately explained. In helicopter video, men are seen running from the school building into the woods behind the school, which is also school property. And in police scanner audio, a chase is captured in which police report men "coming at us" and soon after, "we got 'em."
State Police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance, in remarks to reporters immediately after the shooting, explained that, with respect to men detained or arrested at the scene, police might detain anybody even if they were in the woods "cutting wood." But as school property, the woods behind the school would not be the type of property on which people chopped wood. School grounds, especially elementary school, are generally off-limits to the public during school hours to persons not there on school business.
The CT judge also granted Sedensky's request to omit serial numbers, phone numbers and credit card numbers for various items related to the case.
Section 7-406.1 of the Newtown Public School District Student Policies web portal, "Camera surveillance on School Grounds"
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