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EDITORIAL: Secrecy in Montwheeler case seems to serve state, not public interest

Once again, the public is being told to mind its own business when it comes to Anthony Montwheeler. First state officials and now a state judge have acted to prevent the public from learning crucial information about Montwheeler’s fitness for trial. The credibility of state government is as much at stake as Montwheeler’s guilt or innocence.

Montwheeler sits in the Malheur County Jail, awaiting trial for aggravated murder, assault and kidnapping related to the January 2017 murder of ex-wife, Annita Harmon and Vale resident Dave Bates and injuring Jessica Bates. The crimes occurred three weeks after Montwheeler was released from the Oregon State Hospital following his claim that he had been faking mental illness for 20 years.

The Malheur Enterprise fought a vigorous battle with state officials last year to learn about Montwheeler’s history. The public records, released in . . .