Judge Lipps Considering All Motions in Rape Case - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Judge Lipps Considering All Motions in Rape Case

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Hamilton County Judge Thomas Lipps heard arguments Friday from defense attorneys who want a rape trial, which has caught the attention of the entire nation, moved and delayed. 

Both defense attorneys would like the trial moved to a county hours away to protect their witnesses. Both say that their witnesses are scared to come to court in Steubenville for fear of threats. 

The state countered that argument saying it wouldn't be necessary when it comes to getting the truth out of the witnesses. 

Defense attorneys also asked for a continuance.  Both defense attorneys said they will not be prepared by February 13 because of new discoveries made in the past week. They also believe that the effects of this trial are life lasting so there is no need to rush it. 

The state disagreed by saying the longer the case goes on, more discoveries will be produced. 

One of the biggest pre-trial issues in this case has been whether or not the trial will be open to the public and the media. One of the defense attorneys dramatically changed his stance on that. Walter Madison withdrew his motion to close the trial. 

Attorneys for various media outlets spoke out in favor of an open trial. 

"If the proceedings were closed, the outcry that we've already seen from the public would only increase. And by opening the proceedings, the public would have a better idea of what goes on, a better understanding," said attorney Kevin Shook, representing CBS, ABC, CNN and the New York Times.

"I think the Constitution does provide, in addition to the defendants a fair trial and due process, it also provides the public with a qualified right of access," said WTRF attorney Holly Planinsic. 

Another lawyer urged that it be open, citing it is critical information that every parent needs to know, and the court system is in a perfect position to educate. 

Judge Lipps said the case has drawn so much notoriety because it's about our children, and what they do when they are not under our watchful eye.He says he will rule on the open-or-closed issue, sometime next week. 

Stay with 7News and WTRF.com for updates on this case.