Lawyer: Father denies causing harm to baby

Posted: Thursday, March 07, 2002

Your front page story about the parents charged with injuring their baby violated the most fundamental rule of journalism - get both sides of the story.

I represent Brian Bevelhymer, who is charged in Juneau Superior Court with assault. In your front page story on March 5, you reported the fact that he is charged with assault, and you reported in detail the allegations in the prosecutor's probable cause affidavit. You even went so far as to print a police officer's "educated guess" about what happened.

At no point in your story, however, did you even mention the fact that Mr. Bevelhymer entered a not guilty plea on all the charges on Feb. 25. Although the story indicates that the district attorney was asked for a comment on the case, your reporter never called me for any comment.

It is not my practice to try my cases in the media, and I am not going to start now. Fairness demands, however, that if you are going to inform potential jurors in a front page story of various claims made by the prosecution, you should at least inform your readers that Mr. Bevelhymer denies the charges.

At this point, I have not even been provided with the police report and I am at a very early stage in investigating the case. I am therefore in no position to comment on the specifics of the case. It needs to be said, however, that Mr. Bevelhymer absolutely denies that he did anything to harm his child. A fair news article would have contained at least this information.

Philip M. Pallenberg


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