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Kan. court records sealed in killer's release

Published on -7/18/2013, 7:10 AM

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A Shawnee County judge has sealed court records in the case of a man who was committed to a mental hospital after killing a woman in 2001 and has since been moved to a Topeka facility.

Lee McGowan, senior assistant Shawnee County district attorney, told The Topeka Capital Journal (http://bit.ly/15I3Oqu ) that Judge Evelyn Wilson on Wednesday ordered court records sealed in the case of Hal Bates, who was committed to a mental hospital after beating 85-year-old Elizabeth Cowperthwaite of Topeka to death in 2001.

McGowan is contesting a Pawnee County judge's order earlier this year releasing Bates to a Topeka nursing facility for mental health.

McGowan says Wilson sealed the court records after an attorney representing Bates filed a motion seeking to close court proceedings regarding Bates' move to Topeka.

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