CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) – The defense team for the eighth-grader charged in a Chippewa County homicide is requesting a gag order.
The juvenile, identified only as C. P.-B., is facing charges of 1st-degree intentional homicide, 1st-degree sexual assault resulting in great bodily harm and 1st-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 in the death of 10-year-old Iliana “Lily” Peters.
C. P.-B.’s attorney, Michael Cohen, requested a gag order on the case seeking to restrict access to non-public information, citing a YouTube video containing drone video, photos, police communications, 911 calls and information about the case. Cohen said that information gathered by law enforcement had been leaked.
Cohen asked the court to impose serious consequences on anyone leaking information to the public. AD Newell said that leaking information is already illegal so there is no need for the court to impose any special order regarding the matter.
Chippewa Falls Police told WEAU the video Cohen referred to includes already released information from press releases, media coverage and the criminal complaint–nothing that would have been leaked by officers.
The Chippewa County Sheriff agreed and said he is disappointed with the attorney’s statements.
“I took it personal, a personal attack on law enforcement when it was alleged that law enforcement, without authority, is probably the source of this leak,” said Sheriff James Kowalczyk. “I know for a fact that we are the record keeper of 911 calls, and we would not release any information in an active investigation.”
Chippewa County Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Lane said he would need to review the video, but reminded the defense, prosecutors and law enforcement that information about the case that is not subject to public open records laws should not be released and should remain confidential.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for the afternoon of September 1 in Chippewa County Circuit Court from noon until 4:30 p.m.
If more time is needed, the court would schedule additional time at the end of the preliminary hearing for a later date.
Chippewa County AD Wade Newell asked for a four-hour preliminary hearing. Cohen, suggested a tentatively longer period of time, citing the amount of material in the case and the number of witnesses to be called. Both sides agreed that witnesses could appear virtually during the preliminary hearing, provided they followed state law for court procedures.
A $1 million bond continues for C. P.-B., who is being held at the Eau Claire Juvenile Detention Center while the case is tried in court.