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Marion County District Court says warrant affidavit ‘just being put into the system'; public access pending

Marion County Record 1.jpg
Posted at 12:00 PM, Aug 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-14 13:00:34-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As reports circulate involving details of a law enforcement raid on the newsroom of the Marion County Record in south-central Kansas, additional questions have popped up regarding the disclosure of a search warrant at the heart of the raid.

Over the weekend and into Monday morning, journalists have been trying to obtain records that would detail Marion County Magistrate Judge Laura Viar's decision to sign off on the search warrant requested by Marion Chief of Police Gideon Cody.

On Monday, a Marion County District Court employee told the KSHB 41 I-Team the affidavit that would explain the purpose of the search warrant was "just being uploaded to the system."

Under Kansas law, such affidavits aren't immediately made public. Instead, parties involved in the filing — in this case, the Marion County Prosecutor and the judge assigned to the case have up to 10 days to decide whether to release the affidavit in full — release it with redactions or place the affidavit under seal.

On Sunday, a consortium of news organizations, including The E.W. Scripps Company on behalf of KSHB-TV and KMCI-TV, co-signed a letter to Cody condemning the Friday raid and calling on authorities to return seized equipment to the newspaper and its owner, Eric Meyer.