Missouri newspaper ordered to turn over photos related to O'Neal's death

Friday, April 28, 2006

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- A Boone County Circuit Court judge has ordered the Columbia Daily Tribune to hand over hundreds of unpublished photos to attorneys on both sides of a wrongful death lawsuit involving a fallen Missouri football player.

Judge Gary Oxenhandler ruled Wednesday that the newspaper must disclose 604 unpublished photos to attorneys representing the family of former Missouri reserve linebacker Aaron O'Neal as well as 14 university employees named as defendants, including head coach Gary Pinkel, athletic director Mike Alden and team medical director Rex Sharp.

The 19-year-old redshirt freshman collapsed on the field about 45 minutes into an hour-long, voluntary workout on July 12, 2005 and died later that afternoon. The Boone County medical examiner ruled that O'Neal died of viral meningitis.

Tribune photographer Jenna Isaacson documented O'Neal's collapse on Faurot Field at the preseason workout. Isaacson, who had agreed to testify about what she witnessed at the practice, is out of the country and could not be reached for comment. Attorney Jean Maneke, who represents the newspaper, said she is not certain the Tribune will appeal the ruling.

Duke rape case

The woman who says she was raped by three members of Duke's lacrosse team also told police 10 years ago she was raped by three men, filing a 1996 complaint claiming she had been assaulted three years earlier when she was 14.

Authorities in nearby Creedmoor said Thursday that none of the men named in the decade-old report was ever charged but they didn't have details why.

-- The Associated Press

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