Lawyer: Judge's gag order too broad in missing teacher case

AP News
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Posted: Mar 03, 2017 12:10 PM

OCILLA, Ga. (AP) — An attorney for Georgia media organizations says a judge acted too broadly by ordering lawyers, investigators, potential witnesses and family members to keep silent in the case of a teacher who vanished nearly 12 years ago.

Superior Court Judge Melanie Cross issued a gag order Tuesday as investigators searched a south Georgia pecan farm for the remains of Tara Grinstead, who went missing in October 2005. Last week, authorities charged Ryan Alexander Duke with murder. The judge said statements made outside of court could undermine Duke's right to a fair trial.

Georgia Press Association attorney David Hudson told The Telegraph (http://bit.ly/2mTXIm1) of Macon the judge's order "however well intentioned, is overbroad." Hudson said a hearing would be required to restrict statements by anyone other than attorneys in the case.

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This story has been corrected to show the name of the newspaper is The Telegraph of Macon, not The Macon Telegraph.