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Newspaper tries to block private Gaime case hearing

An attorney for the St. Petersburg Times filed notice Tuesday that the newspaper will try to block attorneys for Kristina Gaime from discussing the case with a judge today behind closed doors.

Attorneys for Gaime sought today's hearing last week, announcing they had secret evidence in the murder case and needed to present it to Circuit Judge Wayne Cobb in private, asking him to delay her scheduled Dec. 1 trial so they could follow up on the new information.

Gaime, 38, is charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder. She was arrested in May 1999 and charged with the death of her 6-year-old son, Mathew Rotell, and with attempted murder of her 8-year-old son, Adam Rotell, in April of that year.

Authorities say she drugged the boys at her Land O'Lakes townhome sometime during the night of April 11 or early morning of April 12, loaded them into the family minivan, directed the exhaust into the cabin and got inside with them in an apparent murder-suicide attempt.

Gaime has been in a Pasco County jail, without bail, since her arrest. Her trial has been delayed repeatedly.

Gaime's attorneys have indicated that at today's hearing, they want to delay her trial until late March. The motion asks that some aspects be discussed privately with the judge, so as not to tip off prosecutors to the defense strategy.

Times attorney Alison Steele, in her motion, maintains the hearings should be open and the newspaper, as a representative of the public, has the right to attend.

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