Adrian denies motion to unseal Bliefnick case records, hearings

Judge Robert Adrian presides over the arraignment hearing of Timothy Bliefnick Friday in Quincy.

Judge Robert K. Adrian

QUINCY – Judge Robert Adrian has denied a petition sought by local media outlets to unseal all motions in the first-degree murder case of Tim Bliefnick.

Adrian issued his ruling Friday.

Rebecca Bliefnick was found shot to death in her home on Feb. 23. Her estranged husband, Tim, was arrested on March 13 and entered a not guilty plea on March 24. He faces two counts of first-degree murder and one count of home invasion.

Muddy River News, WGEM-TV and The Herald-Whig made the request to open court records after Adrian issued a blanket ruling to seal all motions and hearings pertaining to evidence in the case, citing the “extensive publicity” associated with the case.

In his ruling, Adrian said a change of venue would potentially taint the jury pool and lead to a change of venue from Adams County. Adrian said on Thursday the jury pool currently consists of 79 people.

Adrian’s order seals all court motion automatically and then he reviews them to determine if they pertain to evidence. If they are considered evidentiary, they will remain sealed until a verdict is reached in the case.

In his motion, Adrian said all evidence will be publicly heard during the trial.

“The public will get to hear the information that is admitted at trial,” he wrote. “However, they will hear that information at the trial, not pretrial. The Court is not withholding the information from the public, but merely delaying the release of information so as not to taint the jury pool and cause a change of venue from Adams County.”

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: We are considering an appeal. JRG

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