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(The Center Square) – Tennessee Star Editor Michael Patrick Leahy was in court Monday in a records case over the Nashville Covenant School shooter’s journals but was not held in contempt for publishing excerpts received from a confidential source.

Leahy left the courtroom and, in a statement, said that he loves Tennessee and would continue to use his First Amendment rights.

“We started the Tennessee Star so I could exercise my First Amendment rights,” Leahy said. “I think we have served the public well and we are delighted to have the opportunity to continue to exercise our First Amendment rights.”

Tennessee Chancery Court Judge l’Ashea Myles said in the hearing that she was prepared to release a 60-page ruling on the case and whether the writings should be a public record last week before she was informed that the Tennessee Star had published a series of stories on the writings, according to the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government.

“The judge backtracked in the hearing insisting it was a ‘landscape’ hearing in which she said she wanted to get only the landscape from the plaintiffs about the leak and publication,” the coalition wrote. “Honestly, it seemed incoherent to me. I wasn’t the only one, but everyone was polite.”

Attorneys from both sides in the case encouraged Myles to release her ruling in the case, the coalition said.

Law enforcement has resisted the Star’s efforts through a lawsuit to release the journal publicly, including those writings identified by Metro Nashville Police as a manifesto.

The shooter, a female who identified as a male, shot and killed three children and three school staff in March 2023, prior to being shot and killed by responding police officers.



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