Judge denies courtroom cameras in Naperville murder trial

  • Daniel J. Olaska

    Daniel J. Olaska

  • Shaun Wild

    Shaun Wild

 
 
Updated 2/25/2015 2:59 PM

A DuPage County judge has denied a request by Chicago-area print media and television news channels to have cameras in the courtroom for next week's murder trial of Daniel Olaska.

Olaska, 30, of the 1500 block of Foxhill Road in Naperville, is accused of stabbing Spring Brook Elementary School teacher Shaun Wild in the heart with a pocket knife after stabbing Wild's friend, Willie Hayes, during a Feb. 4, 2012, confrontation at Frankie's Blue Room in downtown Naperville.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Olaska also is charged with stabbing and injuring bouncer Rafael Castenada as bar staff members attempted to hold him for police.

Defense attorneys for Olaska have said they intend to argue he acted in self-defense

Both prosecutors and defense attorneys asked Chief Judge Kathryn Creswell on Wednesday to deny the request for different reasons.

Defense attorney Jeff Kendall said he believes jurors could use technology to see what they otherwise shouldn't.

"In this day and age, we could have backup jurors go home, re-watch a recording and be influenced," Kendall told Creswell.

Assistant State's Attorney Demetri Demopoulos told Creswell he believed it would be "a tremendous onus" for him to have to call as many as 150 potential witnesses to inform them they may be televised.

"It is our position that allowing cameras does not advance transparency and has the potential to hinder the prosecution's case," he said.

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Creswell said she first objected to allowing extended media coverage for this case in October 2013 because she believes the media focuses too much on felony cases.

"Since that time, I've gone back and looked and five requests have been filed and four have been for felony cases and one was for a misdemeanor case," she said. "My job is to make sure both sides get a fair trial. This adds a burden on the court and it adds a burden on the attorneys. For that reason, I will deny the request."

Jury selection for Olaska's jury trial is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Monday.

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