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One of the more curious aspects of the Lostutter hearing occurred before during and after the hearing. I have been to a lot of trials and have witnessed how a client and his attorneys handle those from the press during trials or hearings.

In a majority of those cases, the media maintains their distance during non interview situations. This certainly was not the case with whom I dub the gang of four.

I first became aware of Deric coming to the courthouse when I spotted Him Tor Eckland, his lawyer and two men that were unknown to me at the time, walking from a parking garage across the street and some distance from the courthouse.

I would have to guess that it was at least 10 minutes before they arrived at and entered the courthouse together. This in itself is unusual. A lawyer will prefer that media maintain some distance from him and his client so that they can discuss the case in private.

The same thing is true when inside the courthouse when waiting to enter the courtroom. The men were constantly with Tor and Deric while waiting and were having a group discussion. It did not appear to me that Tor was taking a lot of time prepping Deric for the hearing or the things that a lawyer normally does at this stage.

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Both men sat near me when they arrived in the courtroom and furiously took notes the entire time they were in there. I left early to get on line as soon as possible but they remained in the courtroom and came out of the building just before Deric and Tor themselves came out.

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The two men and I were the only ones to interview Tor and Deric. A third gentleman, presumably media, left the court house and did not come anywhere near us.

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Nobody from any major media source was there. After the interview, Tor and Deric walked some distance away from me and the men accompanied them. It seemed to me that they conducted another interview and wanted to do so out of earshot of me.

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It was at that point that the man from Audible.com came back to me and conducted what turned out to be a lengthy interview with me.

He informed me that he was with Audible.com at that point and that he was doing a story about Stubenville that should be completed several months from now.

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Other than through speculation, I have no idea who the other man was. I was reminded that Deric has signed over all rights to his story to Plan B Productions who purchased the rights to the Rolling Stone magazine article about him. What is not known is if the two men are being paid by Tor or if they are just following the hearing with exclusive access being given to them.

When I covered the search for Caylee Anthony in Orlando, I was given “inside access” to the staging area with Lenny P who was the bounty hunter who tried to get Casey Anthony to tell what happened to Caylee and where she might be.

I was not compensated and I have to wonder if this is the same situation as mine. These might be people that Tor decided to allow access to him and Deric because their reporting may be biased in favor of Deric’s situation or at least is directed in the direction of giving Deric some good press.

At some point down the road, perhaps the questions about the gang of four will be answered.

Stay tuned

MURT