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Hearing on whether to allow spectators at trial

NEW YORK CITY — A New York City judge is to decide whether to bar the press and others from the courtroom during the testimony of a key witness.

Prosecutors say the witness has been beaten and shot at since the start of the trial four weeks ago.

Bronx State Supreme Court Justice Ann Donnelly will take up the matter at a hearing Tuesday.

On Monday, at the request of prosecutors, the judge asked spectators and reporters to leave before the witness took the stand.

Prosecutors told the judge that supporters of defendant Brandin Santiago have used scare tactics in court, including flashing gang signs.

Santiago, a 21-year-old reputed gang member, is charged with fatally shooting a 17-year-old girl and wounding two others in 2008.