The Ohio Supreme Court has declined to reconsider its decision holding that The Dispatch and The Cincinnati Enquirer are not entitled to copies of the full autopsy reports in the slayings of eight relatives in Pike County.
The court refused to again examine the case by a 5-2 vote, with Justices Terrence O’Donnell and Sharon Kennedy dissenting, in a ruling issued Wednesday.
The court voted 4-3 on Dec. 14 that much of the information in the autopsy reports of eight Pike County slaying victims is not yet public record and cannot be released since the case remains unsolved more than two years after the killings.
The county coroner, with the support of Attorney General Mike DeWine, refused to release unredacted copies of the autopsies, saying their release would harm the investigation.
The newspapers had insisted that public records law contained no provisions shielding the complete autopsy reports from release. Officials had released heavily redacted copies two months after the legal actions were filed.
The legal fight stemmed from the April 22, 2016, shooting deaths of eight people in three trailers and a camper in Pike County.
The majority ruled that the unreleased portions of the autopsy reports could be withheld as confidential law enforcement investigatory documents.