Craig Carter DOC

Craig Carter

A Pima County judge ruled Monday to quash a subpoena filed against the Arizona Daily Star and one reporter for notes and communication related to ex-UA track and field coach Craig Carter's legal battles.

On May 23, Star management and reporter Caitlin Schmidt were served with the subpoena related to Schmidt's reporting on Carter's legal battles following a 2015 attack on former UA thrower, Baillie Gibson.

Carter was convicted in March of two counts of aggravated assault in connection with an incident in his office during which he choked Gibson and threatened to cut her face with a box cutter. The pair had previously been involved in a sexual relationship, which Gibson says was not consensual.

After Carter was arrested in 2015, Gibson sued Carter and the UA, saying that the university knew about the illicit relationship and did not protect her from continuous rapes by Carter, Star archives show.

The subpoena asked that Schmidt produce all documents and communications between her and Gibson's attorneys. It also demanded all documents and communications between Schmidt and Gibson.

In a June 5 motion to quash, the Star's attorney, Dan Barr, said that the subpoena was insufficient under Arizona's Media Subpoena Law for three reasons:

  • The Carters haven't exhausted all available sources for the information they're seeking.
  • The information is not "relevant and material" to the issues in the case.
  • The information is protected by the First Amendment and Arizona law.

"The subpoena amounts to nothing more than a speculative 'fishing expedition,'" Barr said in the motion. "Further, and importantly, the Carters have not, and cannot, show that this information is relevant to any issue in the case, let alone an important issue."

In the order to quash the subpoena, Pima County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Bergin granted the motion, saying that there was good cause and no opposition had been filed.

Since June 2017, Schmidt has written more than two dozen articles about Carter, whose attorneys in the civil case are being paid by the state. As of May, legal fees for Carter's attorneys had eclipsed $1 million.

Carter was sentenced in May to five years in prison in connection with the attack.

Contact reporter Gloria Knott at gknott@tucson.com or 573-4235. On Twitter: @gloriaeknott