That Depends on What the Definition of "Public" Is
Marco Antonio Topete was supposed to be charged with the murder of a Yolo County, California, sheriff's deputy in open court. That's what the law calls for. It didn't work out that way. Sheriff's deputies barred just about everyone—including the media and the defendant's family—from the courtroom except the slain deputy's family and colleagues. Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto at first said court officials had barred the public from the public hearing. He later admitted that his deputies decided on their own to lock the courtroom doors.