Judge accuses hacks of hacking cannibal ruling

Self-titillation blamed

A state judge in Oklahoma has publicly accused reporters covering a high-profile murder trial of hacking into her computer and stealing a secret ruling she issued in the case.

Cleveland County District Judge Candace Blalock made the allegations after a local TV station reported that portions of a confession police obtained from the defendant could be presented at trial. For reasons that still aren't clear, Blalock, who is presiding over the trial, emailed a copy of the confidential ruling to her home computer. Shortly after that, KWTV-9 News reported the decision.

"I don't doubt that they hired people to hack into the computers," she said, according to this news account. "That's what I think happened, and I think that because I do not believe any of the lawyers involved here would violate" the confidentiality order.

Officials at the television station didn't return a call seeking comment.

The accusation came in the trial of 28-year-old Kevin Underwood, who is being tried for the cannibalistic killing of a 10-year-old neighbor. Given the extreme intrigue created by the case, Blalock said, she believes reporters took extraordinary measures to obtain the ruling.

"I am suspecting that I may have caused a problem myself," she said, by "titillating" the news media with information about a ruling that was not obtainable. ®

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