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Judge mulls unsealing documents in case of mom accused of killing son

Union Leader Correspondent

August 10. 2011 10:41AM

BRENTWOOD - A judge is mulling whether to unseal affidavits in the case of a Texas mother accused of killing her 6-year-old son in response to a petition by the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Julianne McCrery, 42, of Irving, Texas, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder, one alleging she knowingly killed her son, Camden Hughes, and the other that she recklessly caused his death.

She is accused of killing him at a motel on Route 1 in Hampton in May and then leaving his body alongside a dirt road in South Berwick, Maine.

To date, few details about the case have emerged. Authorities said Hughes was asphyxiated, but no possible motive has been presented and McCrery's whereabouts before and after Hughes died are not publicly known.

The N.H. Union Leader petitioned to unseal the affidavits on May 20, leading the state Attorney General's office, which is leading the investigation, to unseal a portion of the documents. Most of the information about the case remains under seal.

During a hearing in Rockingham County Superior Court Wednesday morning, the state argued that the files should remain sealed until the case is presented to a grand jury, citing Murray vs. N. H. State Police. In that case, the father of Maura Murray, who went missing in the White Mountains, filed a right-to-know request seeking police investigative files related to his daughter's disappearance.

He ultimately lost the case and the files were never unsealed, nor were the whereabouts of Maura Murray determined.

'There is a strong presumption to maintain the seal on these investigative details pending grand jury investigation,' said Senior Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell.

But the newspaper argued that the Murray case simply doesn't apply in this situation because that case was about police investigative files, rather than court files. In addition, no one was ever arrested in the Murray case.

'In this case we are not seeking raw investigatory records that would not be made public,' said N. H. Union Leader Correspondent James A. Kimble. 'What we are seeking are court records that are clearly defined under RSA 594:A-4.'

Judge Tina Nadeau said she planned to release a ruling in one to two weeks.

Courts Brentwood Hampton

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