Judge modifies gag order in case of slain Georgia teacher

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By: Associated Press
March 24, 2017

OCILLA, Ga. (AP) -- A judge has agreed to modify a gag order barring attorneys, investigators and others from publicly discussing the case of a slain Georgia high school teacher who went missing nearly 12 years ago.

Attorneys for several media organizations, including The Associated Press, had asked Superior Court Judge Melanie B. Cross to lift her gag order in the case of Ryan Duke, who was charged last month with killing teacher Tara Grinstead in 1995.

In a ruling Friday, Cross insisted some restrictions are necessary to protect Duke's right to a fair trial. Her new order prohibits attorneys, law enforcement and court personnel from disclosing case evidence, any statements made by Duke, expected witness testimony and potential pleas. The order no longer prohibits Grinstead's family and potential witnesses from speaking.


By: Associated Press
March 16, 2017

OCILLA, Ga. (AP) -- A judge says she will rule soon on motions by several news organizations to lift a gag order in the case of a slain Georgia high school teacher who vanished nearly 12 years ago.

Superior Court Judge Melanie B. Cross heard arguments Thursday from attorneys for several news organizations, including The Associated Press, challenging her order that prohibits lawyers, investigators, potential witnesses and even family members from discussing the slaying of Tara Grinstead.

Ryan Alexander Duke was charged last month with killing Grinstead in 2005. Duke's attorney, John Mobley, told the judge the gag order is needed to ensure Duke gets a fair trial.

Attorneys for the news outlets argued the order is overly broad and restricts free speech.

The judge said she expects to rule in about a week.


By: Associated Press
March 9, 2017

TIFTON, Ga. (AP) -- News organizations are challenging a judge's gag order in a case involving the slaying of a south Georgia high school teacher who vanished nearly 12 years ago.

Three separate groups of newspapers and television stations have filed motions before Superior Court Judge Melanie B. Cross to lift the order.

Thirty-three-year-old Ryan Alexander Duke was charged with murder in the slaying of Tara Grinstead, who disappeared in 2005. Her body hasn't been found.

A second man, 32-year-old Bo Dukes, was arrested March 3.

The Telegraph of Macon reports that Cross barred prosecutors, defense lawyers, police and even family members from commenting on the case.

Lawyer Lee Bennett Jr., Grinstead's cousin, says the teacher's family also opposes the gag order.




 
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