Monday, October 22, 2007

What does a teenage murder suspect look like?

Here is a picture of Daniel Petric, 16, who today was charged with murder and attempted murder in the shootings of his parents.
A picture of the back of Daniel Petric, that is.
We fought all morning today, with the help of our lawyer, to be allowed to take his photo at today's hearing. Daniel, according to police, is the only suspect in the shootings of his parents, the Rev. Mark and Sue Petric.
This afternoon's hearing was at the detention home where he is being held.
Our argument to take his photo was based on court rulings giving us the right to have a photographer at such hearings.
The court's argument against allowing us to take his photo was that the suspect is a juvenile who has not yet been charged.
He's a juvenile, yes, but he was charged at the hearing -- with murder and attempted murder. His mother is dead and his father is in critical condition.
In the end, we were allowed to shoot him from the back ... no photos that can identify him.
But we are not done fighting.
We believe we have the right to photograph a person charged with killing his or her parents -- regardless of age -- because we believe our readers have the right to see the face of the person charged with such a crime. What he looks like is part of the story.

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