Maine Public and WGME-TV have decided against appealing a ruling by a Superior Court judge that orders the broadcasters to turn over outtakes from interviews they conducted with former Assistant Attorney General Pamela Ames in the case of Anthony Sanborn Jr.

Sigmund D. Schutz, an attorney representing both media outlets, confirmed in an email Wednesday night that there would be no appeal.

“Maine Public and WGME are not going to appeal,” he wrote. He said that the outtakes would be released Thursday afternoon to Sanborn’s attorney, Amy Fairfield, and to the Attorney General’s Office, which represents the state.

On Friday, Justice Joyce A. Wheeler ruled that Sanborn’s attorneys and lawyers for the state were entitled to be given the outtakes – the material that was not broadcast – from interviews that the stations conducted with Ames, who successfully prosecuted Sanborn for murder in 1992.

The interviews with Ames were conducted in April after Wheeler released Sanborn on bail from the Maine State Prison. Sanborn was released after Fairfield filed for his release, alleging that Ames and Portland police detectives colluded to manipulate testimony and hide exculpatory evidence.

Wheeler said she evaluated tapes from Maine Public and WGME-TV in private and determined that they merited disclosure because they are relevant to Sanborn’s attempt to prove his innocence. Sanborn was serving a 70-year sentence for the murder of Jessica L. Briggs in Portland.

In her order, Wheeler specifically instructs Sanborn’s attorneys and the state not to distribute the outtakes. “They shall be used solely for the purpose of the hearing on the petition, unless otherwise ordered by the court,” Wheeler added.

In a news story posted Wednesday on Maine Public’s website, News Director Keith Shortall said the network will comply with Wheeler’s order. Shortall said the decision not to appeal was based on the advice of legal counsel.

Schutz also represents the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram in issues involving media law.

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