"When you have an ongoing criminal investigation, I'm obligated to not talk about it, on the off-chance that there may be a criminal prosecution," he said. "As I told the people on the Sandy Hook advisory committee, while I have nothing appearing on the horizon, until the investigation is complete, you can't categorically say there will be no more prosecutions."
He concluded: "The police have to be able to do their job, or finish their job."
Sedensky asked the court to dispense with the requirement of giving a copy of the warrant to the homeowner presumably an estate. Nancy Lanza's ex-husband reportedly allowed his home to be searched by granting permission to the police, dispensing with the warrant process.
Sedensky said in his sealing application the investigation is continuing, that no arrests have been made and "none are anticipated, but have not been ruled out." He states there is information in the affidavit "that is not known to the general public and any potential suspect(s)" and disclosing it would jeopardize "chances of solving any crimes involved."
Disclosure would "divulge sensitive and confidential information known only to investigators and any potential suspect(s) and also identify persons cooperating with the investigation thus possibly jeopardizing their personal safety and well-being."
Asked whether information from the searches would benefit lawmakers currently mulling policy issues of mental health and gun safety, Sedensky noted that the make and model of the guns involved have already been released. He added: "If any present threat to public safety emerged from the investigation, it would be announced immediately."
The information clampdown goes beyond the search warrants.
In an February 14 email to lawyers representing Newtown, Sedensky requested they not release 911 police phone call recording, which are routinely provided through Freedom of Information requests. Sedensky wrote: "This is an ongoing criminal investigation and materials related to this investigation such as 911 calls are not subject to a Freedom of Information Act request. Please do not release any materials at this time."
Proloy K. Das, a Hartford appellate lawyer with the firm Rome McGuigan, has worked for both the Freedom of Information Commission and the Office of the Chief State's Attorney's Office as an appellate prosecutor. He sympathizes with Sedensky's position.
"It's a difficult balancing act, both for the prosecutor and the courts," Das said. "Generally, investigations are done in private and prosecutions are done in public. This is a unique situation in that there is an investigation without the possibility of a prosecution. I'm not sure in that equation where the need for secrecy ends and the need for openness begins."