Inyoung You, the former Boston College student who is being charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of her boyfriend, Alexander Urtula, BC ’19, reappeared in Suffolk Superior Court on Tuesday morning for a pre-trial hearing. You pleaded not guilty in November to the charges in connection with Urtula’s suicide.
You’s attorney, Steven Kim, filed a motion at Tuesday’s hearing to remove the case’s protective order, which limits the availability of the case’s evidence to the public, according to WCVB. The order currently prohibits You’s legal representation from disclosing the text messages between You and Urtula with the public relations firm You hired, Rasky Partners. The protective order came after Kim and Rasky Partners’ disclosed texts to The Boston Globe one week prior to the arraignment.
Kim said in court that media attention has played a key role in such a high-profile case, according to the Boston Herald.
“These quotes were carried by The Associated Press, by Reuters, by the local press,” Kim said. “And within the span of a week, over 400 attributions of those quotes were quoted in all media outlets throughout the country. Within two weeks, it had circulated around the world.”
Kim criticized District Attorney Rachael Rollins for her introduction of the order and defended his team’s disclosure of the texts to the media in November as being necessary to counter the global perception of You as a result of the prosecution’s prior public evidence, according to the Herald.
“The district attorney herself factually asserted many inaccuracies,” Kim said, according to WCVB. “This basically tainted the jury pool, judge, to demonize my client as being a monster. We had to figure out how we are going to un-taint that massive damage that was done to the defense.”
Kim implored Superior Court Judge Christine Roach to recognize the importance of exculpatory text messages, such as those right before Urtula died in which You tries to persuade him against it.
The prosecution countered that the order is imperative for a fair trial. Prosecutor Caitlin Grasso said it would prevent the trial from being subjected to “the public arena,” according to The Herald, and urged Roach to uphold it.
Roach did not rule on the motion but commented that the order appeared “broad” in her view. She ordered both sides to specify their arguments in filings during the coming weeks.
You’s pretrial hearing will continue on Feb. 20. Though free on bail until then, You has been ordered to remain in Massachusetts and to attend all future hearings, unless otherwise stated.
Featured Image by Jess Rivilis / Heights Editor