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Judge opens media access to unexpected Greitens hearings

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Rex Burleson made sure the public won't be surprised by any more unexpected hearings in the Governor Eric Greitens criminal case.

Judge Burleson emphasized there was nothing secretive about unexpected hearings. He said he runs his courtroom in such a way that if both parties are ready to argue, then he'll accommodate it.

On Tuesday, the judge acknowledged a request by the media to either schedule hearings or make sure everyone is notified so that the public gets all of the information on this sensational case. Missouri Governor Eric Greitens will stand trial for an invasion of privacy charge in mid-May and there have already been several hearings since the indictment less than two weeks ago.

Media attorney Mark Sableman said he was happy to hear the judge agree to set two solid dates every week that media can attend if there's an urgent development.

"The judge recognized the public's interest in this case and set up a schedule so the media will know anytime there's a court hearing," Sableman said. "That's what we wanted we wanted to make sure the media knew about everything so they could cover things."

The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office also responded late this afternoon to the Greitens' defense team's motion to dismiss. The 11-page response said the jury must decide this case because the parties cannot agree on basic facts of the case not contained in the indictment, such as the claim this was consensual.

The judge has yet to rule on the motions.

Judge Burleson also said he'll bring in 160 jurors in which both sides can pick the final 12 jurors and 3 alternates. The parties did not discuss whether the jury will be sequestered, but that's still on the table. The defense also did not ask for a change of venue, so it appears the trial will remain in St. Louis.