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D.A. Asks To Stop Release of Cop Killer Report

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office requested the Board of Supervisors continue to keep secret a report that details how probation officers supervised a gang member charged with the murder of a Whittier Police Officer.

The Board had considered making the report public this week but were advised not to do so until County attorneys could discuss the matter with the Supervisors in a closed-door meeting.

"As your attorney, I would like to go through the legal analysis and express in that manner the issues that I have in making this confidential document public,"  deputy County Counsel Mary Wickham said Tuesday.

After that meeting other County officials said prosecutors asked the Board to continue to withhold the document out of concern its contents could affect the future court proceedings against the accused killer, Michael C. Mejia, who's tape-recorded confession was already played in open court.

Mejia was under County supervision by probation officers when Whittier Police Department Officer Keith Boyer was shot to death on February 20 at the scene of a car crash. 

A second Whittier Officer, Patrick Hazell, was wounded in the shootout that happened hours after police said Mejia murdered his own cousin in East L.A.

Mejia has pleaded not guilty.

Jail and court records showed Mejia, an admitted gang member, had been arrested and jailed at least five times in the ten months between his release from state prison and murders.

Each time Mejia was arrested he spent only a few days in jail while under the supervision of County probation officers, according to booking records.

The secret report is said to detail how carefully the probation officers kept tabs on Mejia, and why efforts were not made to impose a more significant consequence for the repeated arrests, County officials have said.

"The public's right to know must be balanced with the potential for jeopardizing a pending criminal proceeding," explained L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who said Friday the Supervisors would again consider the public release of the report in a closed-door meeting next week.

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