BOSTON A Superior Court judge barred the news media from taking pictures of two witnesses who are considered crucial to a murder convict's effort to get a new trial.
Shawn Drumgold was convicted 14 years ago of murdering 12-year-old Darlene Tiffany Moore, in a case that underlined the violence then plaguing Boston's streets. He sought a new trial in a hearing before Suffolk Superior Court Judge Barbara Rouse.
Two witnesses, described by Drumgold's lawyer as "vital" to his case, had balked at testifying, saying they were concerned for their safety if their faces or voices appeared on TV or in newspaper photos, even though their names have already appeared in newspapers.
Lawyers for WCVB-TV and The Boston Globe argued that there should be no restrictions on filming or photographing them.
But Rouse noted July 30 that one of the witnesses was fearful of being killed by "the real killers" of Moore if he testified. She said the witnesses' fears were "valid" and that they had shown "a substantial likelihood of harm."
Rosemary Scapicchio, Drumgold's attorney, said the testimony was key to his bid for freedom.
David Meier, chief of the Suffolk district attorney's homicide bureau who is the prosecutor in the case, had no comment.
Moore was killed Aug. 19, 1988. Drumgold's supporters have questioned the allegation that he was the shooter for a cross-town gang who sprayed bullets into a crowd. They claim that police bullied witnesses in the case.