HOUSTON (AP) — A novice crime writer jailed for refusing to turn over her notes about a murder to a federal grand jury has spent more time behind bars than any journalist in the United States, according to a journalism organization.
Vanessa Leggett, 33, spent her 49th day in a Houston federal detention center Friday. She was found in contempt of court on July 20 and could be held for up to 18 months.
The Reporters' Committee for Freedom of the Press said the previous record was 46 days when a Los Angeles Herald-Examiner reporter refused to disclose source material related to the Charles Manson trial in 1972.
Federal prosecutors contend Leggett is not a journalist and does not have First Amendment protection against revealing sources of information to the government.