Judge grants order keeping less redacted versions of cases involving fmr. Taylor Co. sheriff out of public view

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MERRILL, Wis. (WSAW) -- The judge in the case involving Taylor County deputy, Steven Bowers who is charged with misconduct in office, granted a protection order over two cases involving the former sheriff.

Judge Robert Russell signed the order Thursday after the prosecution asked the judge to keep the less redacted versions of two Division of Criminal Investigation cases involving former Taylor County Sheriff Bruce Daniels out of public view. Assistant attorney general, Annie Jay, said in the letter to the judge that she would be able to release more of the record for the defense's review if the protection order was granted.

On Feb. 11, Judge Russell made rulings on several motions filed by the defense. He ruled largely in favor of the state, which will allow the prosecution to be able to use all of the evidence collected against Bowers. The only motion Judge Russell ruled in favor of the defense was ordering the state to release two DCI cases involving Daniels so they can review his credibility at trial, or at least release less redacted versions.

Redacted versions of those cases are available for public review currently, but what Thursday's order means is the less redacted versions will not be able to be reviewed by the public.

One case accuses Daniels of having one of his deputies destroy a crash report. The other case investigated accusations made against one of Daniels' family members and includes Daniels as part of that investigation. Both cases were dropped by prosecutors.

Bowers is charged with misconduct in office after giving two cold case files to a television crime show the sheriff's office was working with for a different cold case.

A date is not yet scheduled for trial, however it is expected to take place later this fall.