Judge denies motion to unseal records, hearings in Bliefnick murder trial

Published: May. 12, 2023 at 3:13 PM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM) - Adams County Judge Robert Adrian has denied a request from local media organizations to unseal motions and hearings in a murder trial set to begin later this month.

WGEM News, The Herald-Whig and Muddy River News had asked Adrian to reverse his previous ruling to unseal all motions in the trial of Timothy Bliefnick.

In denying the motion, Adrian wrote, “If the Court would allow the publication of evidence pretrial, the jury pool could very possibly be tainted, and a fair and impartial jury could not be selected in Adams County and would cause a change of venue from Adams County.”

Adrian wrote that because Bliefnick is being held in the Adams County Jail without bond, he is entitled to have the case tried within 90 days. A change of venue at this point would make that impossible, Adrian wrote. His ruling also stated it would cause an undue burden on witnesses, attorneys and public finances.

Court records show that Adrian ruled March 16 that “Due to the extensive publicity in this case, all motions and/or pleadings shall be filed under seal.”

In his ruling filed Friday, he modified that order:

  1. All Documents shall be filed under seal.
  2. The Court shall review all documents to determine whether the documents contain evidentiary matters. Those documents which contain evidentiary matters shall remain sealed. All documents that do not contain evidentiary matters shall be unsealed.
  3. All documents shall be unsealed after a verdict has been reached.
  4. The Court shall close all pretrial hearings concerning evidentiary matters.
  5. All pretrial hearings that do not concern evidentiary matters shall be open.

Bliefnick was arrested March 13 and charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of a home invasion. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

On Feb. 23, police found Rebecca Bliefnick, 41, dead at her home in the 2500 block of Kentucky Road with multiple gunshot wounds.


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