Judge to determine if murdered woman's journal can be admitted as evidence at trial

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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - A Hampden woman who was allegedly murdered by her brother-in-law in July kept a journal.

Today in a Bangor courtroom, a judge heard arguments about whether or not it can be used at Philip Clark's trial.

The court's considering whether the content of Renee Clark's writings could be considered privileged for religious reasons.

An attorney representing Catholic Priest Anthony Cipolle says because the priest provided guidance for the journal, it would be inappropriate for the court to override rules of privilege.

The Attorney General's Office says the victim was the owner of the journal, not the priest.

Defense Attorney David Bate says there's a discrepancy as some say the priest found the journal while others say it was found by the murdered woman's daughter.

"Anthony Cipolle's position through counsel is that this was spiritual guidance and part of a spirtual guidance program that he was engaged in with the deceased. But the only person who's seen this journal, other than Anthony Cipolle, has said that there are parts of it that are relevant to this investigation and also parts of it that would be embarrassing if released. So, I think the interest of the State at least, in producing this, and seeing what's in it are paramount. I guess it remains to be seen if it's of interest to the defense."

The judge is expected to rule on the matter on Thursday.