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San Diego Judge Closes Courtroom To Cameras

A San Diego Superior Court judge has decided not to allow cameras in his courtroom. Karen Dalton with the court, says Judge David Szumowski's decision stems from coverage of an accused ATM thief last Thursday in his courtroom.

Dalton says the accused thief came to the courthouse for his arraignment but left because of cameras in the courtroom. She says two items in the KFMB-TV news story about the case particularly upset the judge.

Dalton says footage was shot before Judge Szumowski came to the bench and that footage was used in the TV story.She says a camera cannot be turned on until the judge gives permission.

Judge Szumowski's staff say the KFMB report took a "cheap shot" at court security. The judge says this was not an "escape." He says people either show or don't show on notify letters or bonds and some leave before their cases are called.

Dalton says the judge deals with it accordingly.

Dalton says in this case, a warrant was issued but later that afternoon, the defendant showed up at court and he was re-scheduled for arraignment.

She says the TV news report gave the impression that bad court security resulted in this "out of custody" person "escaping."

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