A preliminary hearing for two men accused in a Pershing County killing was continued Thursday after prosecutors sought to bar reporters from the proceedings.
The request was made by Deputy District Attorney Carl Anderson, who asked to close the court because he said news coverage would taint the jury pool in the small county.
The defendants are Tim Dale, 49, who is charged with first-degree murder and James Malone, 61, who is charged with accessory to murder.
The two men were charged Sept. 22, after being arrested based on information law enforcement received from an informant that led them to human remains.
The remains, thought to have been hidden for two years in an old mine in extreme northern Pershing County about 150 miles northeast of Reno, have not been identified by authorities.
KWNA radio in Winnemucca has reported that the dead man is Dale's brother, Warren.
Tim Dale and Malone also are being investigated for the 2001 theft of a large amount of explosives from a Winnemucca company that provides them for mining. The explosives were recovered by federal and local authorities last month in a mine shaft that stretches across the Pershing-Humboldt county lines.
No charges have been filed in the explosives case, and Humboldt County District Attorney David Allison said any charges would be filed in federal court.
The search for the explosives apparently led authorities into the murder investigation.
After Anderson was denied a closed session Thursday in Justice Court, he asked for a continuance to file a similar writ in District Court.
Robert Dolan, of the state Public Defender's office, who represents Dale, and Reno attorney Kevin Karp, who represents Malone, both opposed the continuance, calling it a delaying tactic.
Dolan said the district attorney's office had plenty of time before the preliminary hearing to file motions.
"They need additional time to bolster their case," he told the court.
District Attorney Jim Shirley said his motion was not a delay tactic.
"We were ready to go," he told KWNA by telephone from his office in Lovelock.
As for pretrial publicity tainting the jury pool, Karp said, "The only people who have spoken to the press is the Pershing County sheriff's office." He suggested the district attorney "rein in the sheriff's office a little better."
Malone is free on bail, and Dale remains in custody on a no-bail hold.
Dolan's request to set bail for Dale was denied Thursday.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Oct. 9.