Illinois prosecutor: Chicago reporters' notes should be subpoenaed

September 29, 2011

The Associated Press

CHICAGO — A prosecutor has argued in favor of subpoenas for reporters to turn over notes from jailhouse interviews with a suspect in the 1957 murder of a central Illinois girl.

Judge Robbin Stuckert heard arguments Thursday from DeKalb County State's Attorney Clay Campbell and an attorney representing the Chicago Tribune and The Associated Press, Samuel Fifer.

Reporters interviewed Jack Daniel McCullough while he was in custody in Seattle — before his extradition to face charges in the murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph.

Campbell said after Thursday's hearing that the notes could contain vital details about McCullough's alibi. He said he understood media objections but had "a competing interest" to "prosecute cases as thoroughly as possible."

Fifer says the subpoenas violate the state's Reporter's Privilege Act.

Stuckert will rule Nov. 8.