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Appeals Court Rules Jodi Arias Judge Must Let Public Hear Mystery Witness Who Demanded Privacy

//jodi arias judge sherry stephens wrong kick out media public death penalty trial pp sl

Nov. 3 2014, Updated 7:07 p.m. ET

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An appeals court ruled Monday that the judge was wrong to kick the public and media out of the Jodi Arias death penalty trial.

A three-judge panel granted news media lawyers a stay of Judge Sherry Stephens’ order that cleared the courtroom last Thursday while a mystery witness testified for the defense.

The judge delayed the start of Monday’s session while the Arizona Court of Appeals heard arguments in open court and considered the media request to overturn Stephens’ decision.

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The secret witness told the court keeping the courtroom private was required before he/she would testify. The appeals court concluded that Judge Stephens has less restrictive ways of achieving that, including turning courtroom cameras off and limiting journalists to the overflow room.

It was unclear when court would resume for the seventh day and what rules would be imposed on the public and media.

Judge Stephens announced after the decision that there would no be testimony Monday afternoon. She then sent jurors home for the rest of the day.

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