Arkansas reporter jailed for contempt released hours later

Arkansas News

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — (11/22/19) An Arkansas judge ordered a journalist be released after she served a few hours of her three-day sentence for recording proceedings in a homicide case.

Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren sentenced Nkiruka Azuka Omeronye Tuesday for contempt of court. The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports she was released Wednesday.

Omeronye, a KNWA TV reporter, admitted to making an audio recording during a hearing in Mauricio Torres’ capital murder case last month. She testified that she recorded to ensure she took accurate notes.

The Arkansas Supreme Court bars any recordings without the judge’s consent.

Karren sentenced Omeronye to 10 days in jail but suspended seven days.

Omeronye’s sentencing had been criticized by media and journalism organizations, who called jail time too harsh.

Karren wasn’t available for comment Thursday.

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