Judge: Phillips files can remain online

2011-06-30T00:00:00Z Judge: Phillips files can remain onlineKim Smith Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
June 30, 2011 12:00 am  • 

Documents filed in the criminal case of Pamela Phillips will remain available on the Internet, a Pima County Superior Court judge has ruled.

Phillips' defense attorneys have failed to show that the availability of the documents would prevent Phillips from receiving a fair trial, Judge Richard Fields said.

In addition, they failed to cite any authority that would allow him to take down the documents, Fields said in a written ruling.

Phillips, 54, was extradited from Austria in July 2010 after being charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the November 1996 death of Gary Triano, her former husband.

Prosecutors allege she paid Ronald Young, a one-time boyfriend, to kill Triano, using a portion of Triano's life insurance to pay him. Young is now serving a life sentence.

On May 31, Pima County Clerk of the Court Patti Noland posted most of Phillips' case file online, something she hopes to do with all criminal cases by September.

Phillips' lead attorney, Peter Herberg, asked Fields in court filings and during a recent hearing to force Noland to take down the link.

"Anonymous access to the file on the Internet by state's witnesses, potential jurors and others who would seek to clandestinely help the state win without regard to the truth can do so more easily and without detection," Herberg complained in court documents.

Deputy Pima County Attorney William McCollum told Fields the entire file is already a matter of public record.

Phillips is scheduled to go to trial in January.

Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or kimsmith@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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