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What you need to know for 01/20/2017

Judge restricts access to ‘death ray’ papers

Judge restricts access to ‘death ray’ papers

A U.S. District Court judge has issued a formal order outlining how the man suspected of intending t

A U.S. District Court judge has issued a formal order outlining how the man suspected of intending to unleash a deadly mobile X-ray device against Muslims can view documents related to the case as he prepares for trial.

The order means that suspect Glendon Scott Crawford will be limited in how he views documents that include the names of undercover government employees, as well as information related to the “composition and capabilities/limitations” of the alleged device itself.

Chief Judge Gary L. Sharpe issued the protective order last week after a June hearing at which attorneys for both sides agreed on a solution to the issue. Crawford will get to view documents with the protected information only in the presence of his attorney. Otherwise, he will be allowed to view redacted copies.

On the same day the order was issued, the court also announced a new trial date, Oct. 6 .

The trial in the complicated case has been delayed before. Crawford’s attorney, Kevin Luibrand, said Wednesday the trial could go forward as now scheduled or it could be put off one more time.

Crawford, 49, of Providence, a former General Electric Co. industrial mechanic, faces charges of attempting to produce and use a radiological dispersal device, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and distributing information related to weapons of mass destruction.

He and co-defendant Eric Feight were arrested in June 2013 after a yearlong investigation. Feight, 55, of Stockport, pleaded guilty in January to providing material support to terrorists. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

Prosecutors sought the limitations on Crawford’s access to the unredacted documents to protect the safety of the undercover employees, as well as to protect the public from the dissemination of details of the device designed to kill or seriously injure people.

Any documents provided to the defense by prosecutors remain property of the government and must be returned at the conclusion of the case or any appeals. Motion papers filed by either side that reference “directly or indirectly” redacted information must be filed under seal.

Also, none of the materials provided by prosecutors are to be given to the media by either side.

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