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Judge listening to Newtown 911 tapes, then will rule on whether to release

A Connecticut judge said Monday that he will listen to 40 minutes of 911 calls recorded the morning of the Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre and then rule on whether they can be released to the public, but won’t make his ruling Monday.

In September, the state Freedom of Information Commission ordered that 911 calls from the Dec. 14, 2012 shooting must be released, but Stephen Sedensky III, the prosecutor responsible for investigating the mass shooting, appealed the ruling.

During a hearing Monday morning, New Britain Superior Court Judge Eliot Prescott ruled that the recordings will stay sealed until he can review them and issue a decision.

In his ruling, Prescott said that Sedensky’s “interest in preserving the confidentiality of the audio recordings until such time as his motion for stay can be fairly adjudicated outweighs the public’s interest in immediate access to such information.”

At a hearing on Nov. 8, when Sedensky requested a stay, Prescott also said that he wanted to review the tapes before he would decide on their release.

After the shootings, some media organizations reported that the police had been ordered to wait before entering the school on the morning of Dec. 14. Police have denied that any such order was issued, and said they arrived on the scene within two minutes of the first 911 call. The AP and other news organizations filed a Freedom of Information request for the 911 calls.

Shooter Adam Lanza, 20, killed his mother at their nearby home and then drove to the school, where he killed 20 first-graders and six staffers with an assault rifle before shooting himself with a handgun.

On Monday afternoon, Sedensky, the state’s attorney for Danbury, will release a 40-page summary report on the shooting. The full police report, which has not been scheduled for release, is “thousands of pages long,” according to the Connecticut State Police.

 The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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