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Miccosukee man's murder hearing closed to public

A judge in Florida decided on Tuesday to bar the public from attending a hearing for a Miccosukee tribal member accused of murdering his two sons.

The judge didn't explain why today's hearing is closed, according to the Associated Press, but instructed attorneys not to talk about it.

Kirk Douglas Billie is accused of driving an SUV carrying his two young songs into a canal, where they drowned. He was convicted but a higher court threw out the conviction because past history of domestic violence was introduced at the trial. Billie now faces a retrial.

The incident occurred off the reservation but raised questions of sovereignty. The Miccosukee Tribe refused to let state investigators onto tribal land as part of the case.

Get the Story:
Judge Judge closes hearing in case of man who drowned sons in SUV (AP 4/20)

Court Decision:
Billie v. State (July 30, 2003)

Related Stories:
Lawyer for accused Miccosukee man disqualified (03/23)
Fla. court overturns conviction of Indian man (7/31)
Billie given two life sentences (4/20)
Billie plans appeal of murder conviction (2/23)
Fla. murder trial winds up (2/22)
Mother testifies about death of sons (2/8)
Murder trial begins in Florida (2/7)
Feds dispute tribe's brand of justice (10/16)
Miccosukee tribe tries to protect sovereignty (9/26)