RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina judge sent a small-town newspaper editor to jail after one of his reporters brought an audio recorder to court.
Superior Court Judge Stephan Futrell charged a Richmond County Daily Journal news editor and a staff writer with criminal contempt of court.
The judge sentenced editor Gavin Stone to five days in jail and fined reporter Matthew Sasser $500.
The newspaper and media rights groups believe the punishment is excessive and threatens free speech.
The court has previously warned the news organization about bringing electronic devices into the courtroom.
The judge did not respond to a request for comment.