Defense seeks gag order in police killings:
The defense attorney for accused Charlotte cop killer, Demeatrius Montgomery, is requesting a gag order on the proceedings in order to help Montgomery get a fair trial.
The lawyer, Duane Bryant, said such an order is necessary to preserve Montgomery’s right to a fair trial.
Montgomery, 25, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the March 31 fatal shootings of Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Officers Jeff Shelton and Sean Clark.
Prosecutors announced this month they would seek the death penalty against Montgomery.
“This case has been subjected to substantial, pervasive publicity,” Bryant wrote in his motion.
Bryant’s motion suggests that investigating officers are responsible for the publicity. The publicity, the defense lawyer said, includes the dissemination of inaccurate information and matters that would not be admitted into evidence at trial.
Bryant did not cite in his motion the information he claims is inaccurate or the matters he claims would not be allowed into evidence.
The funny thing is police and prosecutors have been very tight-lipped about this case. However if Mr. Bryant wants a gag order I say we give it to him. I want there to be no doubt if a conviction is eventually handed down.
Of course the press is falling all over themselves with righteous indignation.
Jon Buchan, a lawyer for the Observer, said Wednesday he will file an objection to the defense lawyer’s motion. He said a hearing date has not been set.
“The public is very interested in this case, and it should be,” said Observer Editor Rick Thames. “Two police officers lost their lives. A local resident is accused of killing them. All the more reason why this motion to conceal the judicial proceedings from the public should be denied.”
Thames said he knew of no inaccuracies in news coverage that could affect Montgomery’s ability to receive a fair trial. He also noted that the courts have the means to offset the potential effects of pretrial publicity, key among them the careful questioning of potential jurors.
Yes, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Officers Jeff Shelton and Sean Clark did lose their lives. And as a community, which even includes you Charlotte Disturber, we should do everything within our power to ensure that the trial goes off without a hitch. If that means a gag order then so be it. I think the public will understand. I dare you to tell me that your appeal has nothing more to do with selling a few more papers.