Judge in Breckenridge assault case considers gag order
Prosecutors and defense attorneys on Monday, March 16 discussed pretrial publicity restrictions concerning the case of Sky Wodraska, a 37-year-old Breckenridge man charged with the brutal assault of three young girls.
During the hearing, Wodraska’s defense attorney, Reed Owens, requested a gag order that would restrict attorneys from disclosing specific facts about the case. Fifth Judicial District Attorney Bruce Brown proposed an alternative with fewer restrictions on what attorneys could share with the public.
Fifth District Court Chief Judge Mark Thompson chose to adopt Brown’s proposal, but plans to issue a written order after considering both options.
“We must balance the First Amendment right against Wodraska’s right to a fair trial and the victims’ rights in such a small community,” Thompson said.
Owens requested to limit pretrial publicity for the purpose of finding an unbiased jury and limiting the scope of public discussion. He added that this case was clearly “one of those cases” that garners significant public interest.
As the investigation is still underway, Brown asked that the current case file and affidavits remain sealed until March 30. While Brown hopes to conclude the investigation next week, he may consider requesting that the documents be sealed for a longer period of time to protect the victims.
Wodraska is charged with attempted murder, assault, kidnapping, child abuse, burglary, possession of burglary tools, violation of a protection order and violation of bond conditions. He faces 16 to 48 years in jail, with five years minimum parole if found guilty for attempted murder.
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