O’Neal family and MU make case to get photos

Monday, March 27, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:40 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Opposing attorneys in the MU football player Aaron O’Neal wrongful death suit banded together in a Boone County courtroom today in an attempt to obtain more than 600 photos taken during the pre-season training last July where O’Neal collapsed and later died.

Bob Blitz and Chris Bauman, attorneys for O’Neal’s parents, Lonnie and Deborah O’Neal, requested a subpoena last week for the 622 photos taken by Columbia Daily Tribune photographer Jenna Isaacson.

Attorneys for both the O’Neals and MU agree that because there was no promise of confidentiality by the university and because Isaacson has discussed the unpublished photos in the Tribune and other publications — including an article she authored — reporter’s privilege should not apply.

Jean Maneke, who represents both Isaacson and the Tribune, said that the subpoena was premature and that there is no need to release the photos until after the deposition, which is scheduled to take place April 3 in St. Louis.

Judge Gary Oxenhandler is expected to rule soon, probably before the April 3 deposition, Bauman said.

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