LAFAYETTE, La. — Attorneys for the man accused of gunning down a Lafayette police officer have moved to have KATC and its coverage of the case appear in court.
On Wednesday, attorneys for Ian Howard filed several motions for KATC and other local news organizations to appear before the court to present copies of news coverage, including articles dating back to 2018, to support their attempt to have Howard’s trial moved to another venue.
Other media outlets in Lafayette were served with similar motions, including our media partner The Advocate, KLFY, KADN and The Daily Advertiser. The Lafayette Police Department was also given a similar motions according to court records.
The motion, which did not include a date for KATC to appear in court, requests materials from our news coverage including the following:
- True and correct copies of any and all video recordings of news segments broadcast from Oct. 1, 2017 to present, involving Ian Howard, Michael Middlebrook, Logan Signater, Craig Leopaul or Ameen Alfata.
- Documents indicating the viewership of the subpoenaed party’s news organization during the applicable period during which the broadcasts were aired.
- True and correct copies of any Internet postings, including those of any social media page maintained by the station, of news articles or videos of news segments posted from Oct. 1, 2017 to present, involving Howard, Middlebrook, Signater, Leopaul or Alfata (including all comments, “likes,” shares and number of views).
- Website posts or stories of news segments posted from Oct. 1, 2017 to present, involving Howard, Middlebrook, Signater, Leopaul or Alfata.
The motion also requests that copies of the material be presented in court at no cost to Howard. It did not request any proprietary information.
According to the district attorney’s office, a brief hearing was held Wednesday morning to introduce the motions for a change of venue before 15th Judicial District Judge Jules Edwards.
Those motions will now be heard on Jan. 21, 2020, which had been the trial date set for Howard's attempted murder charges against three LPD officers. A new trial date will be set after these motions are taken up.
Howard, 29, has two pending cases: a first-degree murder case in the Oct. 1, 2017 shooting death of LPD Cpl. Michael Middlebrook and, in a separate case, three charges of attempted first-degree murder that involve the other alleged victims.
A trial date for those charges had been set for Jan. 21, 2020. No date has been set for his first degree murder charge trial. The state has said they plan to seek the death penalty in that trial.