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Orange County

Judge Denies Media Requests for Cameras at Avila Pretrial Hearings

September 12, 2002

A judge ruled Wednesday that cameras will not be allowed in the courtroom for pretrial hearings for the man accused of kidnapping and killing 5-year-old Samantha Runnion.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Francisco Briseno banned television and still cameras at Monday's status hearing and later this month at a preliminary hearing, which will determine whether sufficient evidence exists for Alejandro Avila to stand trial.

Briseno issued the ruling after reviewing media requests for camera access, court spokeswoman Carole Levitzky said.

In his ruling, Briseno said he would hear media requests Monday to reconsider his decision.

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