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N. Michigan Reporter Escapes Felony Charge for Doing His Job

 
N. Michigan Reporter Escapes Felony Charge for Doing His Job
Posted March 5th, 2014 @ 8:10am by The Associated Press

A felony charge has been dropped against a reporter who gathered footage of a small airplane crash that killed two people in northern lower Michigan.
 
Damien Leist, who was working for the Charlevoix County News, said no one told him that he and a colleague couldn't approach the site of the Jan. 6 crash in Boyne City.
 
Leist was charged under a state law that prohibits taking pictures of human remains in a grave. The Petoskey News-Review and WPBN-WTOM report the charge was dismissed Tuesday under agreement between Charlevoix County Prosecutor Allen Telgenhof and Leist's lawyer.
 
Telgenhof says in a joint release that officials "respect the First Amendment rights of the news media to cover newsworthy events.''
 
Leist says his "only objective was to report on this tragic accident.''
 

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