The Colorado Supreme Court will consider arguments in a request for access to the preliminary hearing in the case of Austin Sigg, the teenager accused of killing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway of Westminster.
Judge Stephen Munsinger closed the hearing in order to ensure a fair trial and protect the privacy of the victims and their families.
But prosecutors and media organizations including the Associated Press, the Colorado Press Association, the Colorado Broadcasters Association and several other media outlets argue that Munsinger issued his ruling without hearing evidence or considering alternatives to preventing the public from attending a court hearing.
Munsinger will have until Feb. 11 to explain to the Colorado Supreme Court why he closed the hearing to the public.
Prosecutors and the media organizations will then have until Feb. 19 to reply.
Sigg’s preliminary hearing is currently scheduled for Feb. 22.
Sigg is facing 19 charges including first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual assault on a child in the case of Ridgeway, who was last seen walking to school in Oct. 5, 2012.
He is also accused of attacking a woman who was jogging last May in Ridgeway’s neighborhood.