HANNIBAL, Mo. — A Marion County judge has denied a motion made Friday in Marion County Circuit Court to restrict access to a case against a Hannibal attorney running to become an associate judge in the 10th Judicial Circuit.
Tyler White, 31, was charged in June with attempting to tamper with a victim in a felony prosecution, a Class D felony, after allegedly offering a victim $4,000 not to testify against one of his clients.
White made his first appearance Friday afternoon with his attorney, Mark Williams of Kirksville, before Judge Holly Conger-Koenig. A formal arraignment was waived.
Williams filed a motion July 1 for a higher security level and restriction of public access for this case. Williams, Marion County Prosecuting Attorney Luke Bryant and Conger-Koenig met briefly in private before Friday’s hearing. Conger-Hoenig said during the three-minute hearing that she would enter a ruling later Friday by email.
Conger-Koenig wrote after Friday’s hearing in White’s case file on Case.Net that she had denied the motion. “The court believes to remain transparent, the public has a right to access criminal matters,” she wrote.
Another motion hearing was set for 2 p.m. Friday, July 29.
A probable cause statement, submitted by Det. Ryan Lawzano of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, said the Marion County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office contacted him regarding a possible felony for tampering with a victim involving a case against Blake Schmalzer, 26, of O’Fallon, Mo. Schmalzer has been charged with domestic assault in the third degree and faces two charges of property damage in the second degree in connection to an April 10 incident.
Lawzano said White, Schmalzer’s legal counsel, approached the victim of the domestic assault claims before a preliminary hearing for Schmalzer on June 13 in a private jury room at the Marion County Courthouse. The victim said White offered her $4,000, paid by Schmalzer, to induce a lesser charge involving the cases against Schmalzer.
The victim’s mother witnessed the conversation, Lawzano wrote.
White is running against John Jackson in the Republican primary on Aug. 2. The 10th Judicial Circuit covers Marion, Ralls and Monroe counties.
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