Lawyer: Media ‘Sensationalized’ Alleged Facebook Live Attackers

(CBS) — The lawyers who represent four people accused of attacking a teen with mental disabilities live on Facebook said media coverage has led to death threats.

W-B-B-M’s Bob Roberts reports.

Assistant public defender Neil Toppel said an online post called for the public execution of his four defendants.

“There was a posting that invited a Good Samaritan to publicly execute these defendants by law, or if not, by mob,” he said.

Toppel’s boss, public defender Amy Campanelli, called the media coverage of her defendants “sensationalized” and “pervasive.” She also said it could poison the jury pool.

Her four defendants are all allegedly in the live-streamed video, showing a group punching and kicking a teen who has schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The four allegedly cut his scalp and hair with a knife and forced him to drink from a toilet.

The case drew national outrage, including from some people who tried to falsely link the attack by four African-Americans on an 18-year-old white person to the Black Lives Matter movement.

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