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Judge won't release images of whale trainer's death

Mar 15, 2010 11:24:00 PM - thestate.com
ORLANDO, Fla. - The family of the SeaWorld Orlando trainer drowned by a killer whale last month gained a temporary order to keep photos and videos that captured her death out of the public eye.

An Orange County Circuit Court judge late Monday granted Dawn Brancheau's family its request for a temporary restraining order against the Medical Examiner's Office and the Orange County Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff's Office is investigating Brancheau's Feb. 24 death at the theme park.

At issue are photographs taken by Orange County deputies and SeaWorld video that park officials turned over to the Sheriff's Office after the orca grabbed University of South Carolina graduate Brancheau by her ponytail, pulled her into the water and then drowned her.

There are video records. One is an underwater view from a camera in a window in the pool. The second is an overhead view from a camera mounted on the park's Sky Tower, according to the Brancheaus' complaint, which was filed Friday.

The underwater view doesn't show Brancheau until after she enters the water, the complaint said. The Sky Tower camera wasn't aimed at the scene until after the incident occurred.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)