Previously, Attorney General Marty Jackley gave a conditional approval to reporter Bob Mercer’s request to review Richard Benda’s death file. Mercer and another reporter could do so, Jackley, said, after they got approval from a member of Jackley’s family.
Well, apparently, that approval isn’t coming, and that means no examination of the file. Jackley writes to Mercer:
I disagree with the assertion that there is a legal impossibility by conditioning any release of the Richard L. Benda’s Death Investigation File upon your obtaining consent from an immediate family member. This assertion was only made after the custodial parent, on behalf of the child, refused to provide consent as did the personnel representative of the Richard L. Benda Estate.
While the Attorney General is not concerned that the investigation evidence will not support the independent findings of the pathologist, the coroner’s death certificate or state, federal, and local law enforcement death scene investigation, the Attorney General is concerned it may well affect the innocent members of a family or a minor child. Therefore, your amended and supplemental public records requests are denied until such time as the three conditions are fulfilled.
Here’s Jackley’s full letter: