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Judge: 911 Tapes From Sandy Hook Massacre Could Be Released Next Week

Decision Comes A Day After State's Attorney Released Summary Report
The front entrance to Sandy Hook Elementary School after the massacre on Dec. 14, 2012. (Credit: Danbury State's Attorney)

The front entrance to Sandy Hook Elementary School after the massacre on Dec. 14, 2012. (Credit: Danbury State’s Attorney)

Tragedy In Newtown

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A Connecticut judge ordered the release of the 911 recordings from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, but the tapes will not be immediately unsealed.

The state’s Freedom of Information Commission ruled in September that the recordings should be provided to The Associated Press, but State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky III asked for a stay while he appeals that order. New Britain Superior Court Judge Eliot Prescott denied his motion for a stay Tuesday, but the tapes remain sealed until Dec. 4 to give the prosecutor a chance to appeal.

The ruling came a day after the judge listened to the 911 tapes.

LINK: Evidence Photos From Sandy Hook Massacre

The AP has sought the recordings in part to examine the police response to the massacre, which left 20 first-graders and six educators dead. The AP has said it would review the content and determine what, if any, of it would meet the news cooperative’s standards for publication.

Sedensky urged the judge to consider the anguish releasing the tapes could cause for victims’ families.

Prescott said in his ruling, however, that while the 911 callers describe the shootings in a disturbing manner, no children are identified by name and no shouts or screams could be heard in the background.

Dan Klau, a Hartford attorney who specializes in First Amendment law, told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond that the purpose of releasing the tapes is to examine the police response.

“The chief reason is to determine whether or not the police and the dispatcher acted appropriately under the circumstances,” he said.

On Monday, Sedensky released his summary report of the Dec. 14 massacre. That report was issued also due to a Freedom of Information request.

WARNING: CONTENTS OF REPORT MAY BE VERY DISTURBING
Click Here For Full Report (pdf)

The report offered a glimpse at the thousands of pages in the full evidence file compiled by the Connecticut State Police.

The report determined gunman Adam Lanza had significant mental health issues that affected his ability to live a normal life and interact with others but did not affect his mental state for the crimes.

Lanza had an “obsession with mass murder, in particular the Columbine shootings” in 1999, according to the report. He also was fascinated with violent video games, including one called “School Shooting.”

No motive was determined in the rampage.

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