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Judge Allows Cameras In Court For Pilot Project

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ST. CLOUD (WCCO) — Chances are you’ve seen real court cases, like the OJ Simpson murder trial, on TV before. In fact, news cameras are allowed into courtrooms in most states, including Wisconsin and Iowa – but not Minnesota. That is, however, until Friday.

It’s part of a pilot project ordered by the Minnesota Supreme Court. Stearns County Judge Fred Grunke allowed a WCCO-TV crew and a still photographer from the St. Cloud Times into record a civil court hearing.

This is a motion for a retrial in the case of Froseth and Imdieke versus Avon State Bank. The case involves a Nigerian money scam, and Avon State Bank’s involvement in it.

A jury decided in January in favor of Gerald Von Korff’s clients, but Michael Ford, the attorney for the bank, is asking the judge for a retrial.

Judge Grunke is taking Friday’s arguments into account and will decide whether they’ll go to court again, or not.

In a statement saying why he would allow cameras to cover today’s proceeding, Judge Grunke wrote, “It is demeaning to suggest that the same candor, professionalism and zealous representation that prevailed during the trial will dissolve under the light of media coverage.”

WCCO-TV hopes that other judges will agree to the idea and that we will be able to bring you more stories from the court in the future.

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