CHARLESTON -- A judge now says news media will be allowed to cover a Coles County juvenile court case following his review of juvenile law.

A Journal Gazette/Times-Courier reporter was prevented from attending a hearing Friday for a teenager accused of threatening fellow Charleston High School students.

On Friday, Circuit Judge Jonathan Braden barred the reporter from the hearing because the attorney for the teen objected to the reporter's presence.

However, Braden later sent a statement to the newspaper about his review of the news media access to juvenile cases. He said the news media will be allowed to attend further hearings in the case.

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On Monday, Braden said he hadn't anticipated news media representatives attending the hearing and relied on the attorneys' comments. State's Attorney Jesse Danley didn't take a position on the defense's motion.

Braden said he read the charge to the suspect, who entered a denial to its allegations. A status hearing for the case was then scheduled for March 8, he said.

The 17-year-old student was charged in juvenile court with disorderly conduct. Charleston police said he was arrested on Dec. 3 after receiving reports that he threatened to shoot other students.

An investigation found that the threat was "only verbal" and there was no evidence that "the student had any real thoughts" of harming anyone, according to a news release from Charleston police.

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Contact Dave Fopay at (217) 238-6858. Follow him on Twitter: @FopayDave



Dave Fopay is a reporter for the JG-TC who covers Coles County, the local court system, Charleston schools and more.

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