Subpoena of Calif. College Student Newspaper Photographer Dropped

CALIFORNIA — County prosecutors this afternoon withdrew their demand to see the unpublished photographs of a campus murder scene taken by a Contra Costa College student newspaper photographer.

Soren Hemmila, a student photographer for The Advocate, had refused to turn over the photographs, claiming protection under the California shield law, which protects journalists from demands by law enforcement officials and others to reveal the names of sources or to turn over information they have gathered while reporting the news.

The Contra Costa County district attorney’s office, which had sought the photos, agreed in court to drop its subpoena after it said it learned that Hemmila had arrived at the crime scene after police.