HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- A Connecticut state prosecutor said Monday he is dropping his bid to continue withholding recordings of 911 calls from the mass shooting last year at a Newtown elementary school. The tapes are expected to be released to the public Wednesday.
Last week, a judge ordered the prosecutor, State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky III, to provide the recordings to The Associated Press, affirming a ruling by the state's Freedom of Information Commission that the calls are not exempt from public information laws.
Sedensky, who led the investigation into the massacre, said Monday he decided not to appeal the ruling after consulting with the office of the chief state's attorney and an attorney for the town of Newtown.
The tapes to be released Wednesday include seven calls that were made to Newtown police, and do not include calls that went to state police dispatchers. The tapes will be made available at the Danbury offices of attorneys for the town of Newtown, according to a statement from the first selectman's office.
The AP has sought the recordings in part to examine the police response to the massacre. The AP will review the content and determine what, if any, of it would meet the news cooperative's standards for publication.
The gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School on the morning of Dec. 14 and gunned down 20 children and six women with a semi-automatic rifle. He also killed his mother in their Newtown home before driving to the school and committed suicide as police arrived at the scene.
Tapes of 911 calls are routinely released, but the Newtown police department and Sedensky sought to keep the Sandy Hook calls secret, arguing initially that they could jeopardize the investigation. Sedensky also has argued that releasing the tapes could violate survivors who deserve special protection as victims of child abuse and make people reluctant to call 911 for fear of having their cries for help later broadcast by news outlets.
Sedensky's argument were rejected first by Connecticut's FOI commission, which ruled in favor of the AP in September, and then New Britain Superior Court Judge Eliot Prescott, who last week denied a request by Sedensky for a stay of the FOI commission's ruling as he pursued an appeal.
Prescott said the release of the tapes will help the public gauge the appropriateness of law enforcement's response.
"Delaying the release of the audio recordings, particularly where the legal justification to keep them confidential is lacking, only serves to fuel speculation about and undermine confidence in our law enforcement officials," the judge wrote.
A report on the investigation that was released by Sedensky last week concluded that Lanza's motives for the massacre may never be known.
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Adam Lanza's Home
The home where Adam Lanza lived with his mother, Nancy Lanza, before he killed her.
An aerial view of the home where Adam Lanza lived with his mother. According to documents released by Connecticut's Division of Criminal Justice, in November 2012, Nancy Lanza said her son, Adam, "hadn't gone anywhere in three months and would only communicate with her by e-mail, though they were living in the same house."
Adam Lanza's Room
According to Connecticut's Division of Criminal Justice, "The shooter's second floor bedroom windows were taped over with black trash bags."
A Savage 22 was found at the residence of Adam Lanza's home. Next to gun is the book <em>Train Your Brain To Get Happy</em>.
The computer room of the Lanza residence. Adam Lanza had all windows in the room covered. According to Connecticut's Division of Criminal Justice, investigators found on a digital device that Adam Lanza had "Materials regarding the topic of pedophilia and advocating for rights for pedophiles."
According to Connecticut's Division of Criminal Justice, Lanza damaged his hard drive to the point where investigators at this time are unable to determine what was on its contents.
A photocopied newspaper article from 1891 pertaining to the shooting of school children.
The book <em>Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcends Tragedy,</em> which tells the true story of a gunman who entered an Amish school in 2006 and massacred the children inside.
A gun safe owned by Adam and Nancy Lanza.
A bullet found in the home of Adam Lanza.
An assortment of weapons and ammunition was found in a gun safe at the Lanza residence.
A closer look inside the Lanza's gun safe.
Gun Safe, Weapon
The gun safe was marked as evidence by investigators culling through the residence of Adam and Nancy Lanza.
Glock pistol instructions and safety pamphlets.
Drawer With Magazines
A drawer at the Lanza home with magazine clips piled high.
An ID picture of Adam Lanza for the Newtown Technology Team.