Report: Santa Clara County guards accused of murder seek to bar public from court

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Three Santa Clara County jail guards accused of murder want to ban the public and media from court, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The guards claim extensive adverse publicity and a politically charged atmosphere threaten their chances for a fair trial. Correctional Deputies Jereh Lubrin, Rafael Rodriguez and Matthew Farris are accused of beating to death inmate Michael Tyree back in August.

According to the Mercury News, court documents released this week say the three men have already been condemned as murderers despite the fact they have yet to be tried and allowing the public to attend the preliminary hearing or look at transcripts afterward would negatively influence prospective jurors.

The prosecution and the Mercury News will oppose the motion. A prosecutor says the public has the right to hear the case as in all other cases.

The hearing for this motion is set for February 16.
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