Media attorneys to appeal court’s ruling in Connor Betts’ school records case

Credit: STAFF

Credit: STAFF

Attorneys representing the Dayton Daily News, WHIO-TV and multiple other news organizations put the Supreme Court of Ohio on notice of the planned appeal in the legal fight for the release of the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek school records of Connor Betts, the man who fatally shot nine people in Dayton’s Oregon District.

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The Notice of Appeal filing comes weeks after the Ohio Second Appellate District Court’s decision in which the justices sided with the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek school district’s move to withhold the release of Betts’ records.

Betts, 23, injured dozens in addition to the nine people he fatally shot the night of Aug. 4 along East Fifth Street. The mass shooting ended after approximately 30 seconds when Dayton officers fatally shot Betts as he attempted to enter the Ned Peppers bar.

Betts’ former classmates told reporters that his behavior in high school raised red flags that, if properly addressed, might have prevented the shooting.

Once the notice is entered into the record with the Ohio Supreme Court, attorneys representing the media companies will have 40 days to file the merits for the appeal, according to Christopher Hollon, attorney for Dayton Daily News and WHIO-TV.

Other national media companies, including CNN and the New York Times, are plaintiffs in the case.

In denying the media’s request to force the release of Betts’ school records, the second appellate court’s three-judge panel concluded that the school district “does not have a clear legal duty to release them” because the records being sought do not qualify as public records under Ohio law.

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