The murder of University of Virginia women's lacrosse player Yeardley Love, 22, and the charges brought up against men's lacrosse player George Huguely, 22, once again have brought sports and mainstream media together.

In talking with Chris Leibig, an Arlington-based criminal defense attorney and author of current events thriller, "Montanamo", the media need to move carefully.

Leibig on the role of the press in the early stages of a high-profile investigation » The press has an entirely separate role from that involved with seeking justice, which is to inform the public of matters of public interest. The murder of a U.Va. student and the fact that another student was arrested for it are obviously matters of public interest in Charlottesville and nationally. Violence at colleges, particularly in Virginia, has been a public topic for several years now. Given the critical role of the press in our democracy though, the most important role of the press is to be fair and not sensationalize the matter. People learn from the sound bites, and not the details. One always hopes police and prosecutors are not affected by whether a case is high profile or not. The justice system in Charlottesville, Va., has a reputation for fairness. However, when the press is watching, people become cautious and less likely to admit mistakes. No one likes to be wrong, and yet nothing is more important than those involved with the case -- prosecutors, police and defense attorneys -- to remain flexible and not become unreasonably wedded to theories that turn out to be wrong. As investigations develop, open minds are critical.

Leibig on mistakes made by the media in following investigations » The press often makes the mistake, unintentionally in most cases, of deflating the importance of the presumption of innocence. From the perspective of fairness and justice, it is important for the press not to presume guilt, jump to conclusions, or discuss the case using terms that assume the defendant is guilty. By all known accounts, this defendant is also a person that has lived an admirable life, has a family and friends, and is presently sitting in jail preparing to face an arduous ordeal whether guilty or not. While the press has every right to report fact and opinion in its own way, these stories reach the jury pool in a case -- and even affect the sentiments of officials charged with making important decisions about the case. Police and prosecutors are not immune from the pressure of public opinion. Presumptions of guilt in the press can turn out to be very, very wrong. Even if correct, they hurt the fair administration of justice.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. Check out his blog, Watch this!