Letters that may reveal how author Robert Lindsay obtained Kathleen Sheets' diary were read and then sealed Wednesday by U.S. District Chief Judge Bruce Jenkins.
Last month, Lindsay, the author of "A Gathering of Saints," said in a deposition given at his Carmel, Calif., home that he couldn't recall the source of the diary.Based on the new evidence, Jenkins ordered Lindsay to give another deposition to attorney Kent B. Linebaugh, who is representing Gary Sheets in a $1 million invasion of privacy lawsuit.
Sheets says in his suit that only he and those investigating the murder of his wife had access to the diary and that no one authorized its release to Lindsay. Both the author and publisher Simon & Schuster are named in the suit.
Kathleen Sheets and Steven Christensen, a business associate of Gary Sheets, were killed in October 1985 by Mark Hofmann, a forger of historic documents.
On Wednesday, lawyers argued over the admissibility of letters that apparently shed some light on how Lindsay obtained the diary. One letter was from Lindsay to Simon & Schuster's assistant general counsel, and the other was from the assistant general counsel to Lindsay.
The publisher's Salt Lake lawyer, Kevin Bates, argued that the letters were attorney-client communications and, therefore, privileged documents.
However, Jenkins ruled that no privilege would be violated if Lindsay read the letters to "refresh his memory." And he ordered the author to submit to another deposition in Salt Lake City next month.
After the hearing, Bates declined to tell news reporters whether the letters did in fact reveal the source of the diary.
Linebaugh has maintained from the outset of the legal proceedings that Lindsay obtained the diary through improper means.