Virginia Newspaper Given Access to Court Information on Reporter's Death

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    Close-up of a gavel and its sound block

    The Winchester Star was granted access Wednesday to court orders that sealed search warrant documents in a case involving the death of one of its reporters.

    Fauquier County Circuit Court Judge Herman A. Whisenant Jr. ruled that the court orders issued during the investigation into the death of Sarah Greenhalgh should be unsealed. 

    The newspaper says it requested only the orders that sealed the warrants, and not the search warrant affidavits.

    The newspaper's attorney, Robert T. Mitchell Jr., told Whisenant during Wednesday's hearing that the newspaper wanted to ensure that the reason for sealing the warrants was still relevant, and to see whether the time frame for the sealing had expired.

    Greenhalgh covered Frederick County government for the Winchester Star from August 2011 to her death in July 2012.

    She was found dead with a gunshot wound to the neck in her Upperville, Va., home, which had been set on fire.