Local

Dec 17, 2013 7:57 PM by Erika Flores

Widow of rancher killed fights release of documents, judge denies request

SIERRA VISTA - The widow of a Cochise County rancher killed three years ago is fighting the release of additional information in the murder investigation of her husband.

Robert Krentz was found dead in 2010 on his Douglas ranch.

The killing made national headlines after authorities found footprints leading to the U.S. Mexico border.

So far, no arrests have been made.

The Cochise County Sheriff's department said it's questioned 30 to 50 persons of interest in the case.

Susan Krentz petition to stop the further release of public records concerning her husband's death was denied.

Krentz reportedly claimed her privacy interest outweighed the publics right to access.

"One of the things the judge made clear is that everybody is respectful of crime victims and anytime anyone has to relive a crime that can be a hurtful experience, but simply because it's a hurtful experience (that) doesn't allow a crime victim to have a veto power over the release of public documents otherwise available to the news media and the public," said Daniel Barr, attorney with Perkins Coie.

The sheriff's office had already produced hundreds of pages and photographs to the media.

Sheriff Mark Dannels said in a statement:

"With any case of this magnitude and far reaching emotional and social impacts, we try to deliver our services in the utmost professional manner while allowing the courts to weigh the victim's interest and the legal requirements established.

In this particular instance, the courts have ruled that records held by the Sheriff's Office are to be released pursuant to Arizona law and that ruling will be followed. It is sometimes a matter of not only investigative interests that we try to maintain, but a personal, ethical, and morale view that we take. Although we have previously released photographs to various media outlets, they have used what we believe to be sound judgment in not reproducing them for any additional sensationalism in what is a senseless and cruel act of violence in our county.

Current public records requests will be processed in accordance with today's ruling, and we will continue with the Krentz investigation as we have since the time of the crime and we hope we are successful in ultimately bringing closure in this case."

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