SPOKANE, Wash. — Latah County Court Magistrate Judge Megan Marshall issued an order Tuesday night that prohibits investigators, law enforcement, attorneys and agents of the prosecuting attorney or defense attorney from speaking to the media or public about the Moscow murders.
The decision comes less than 24 hours after the murder suspect, Bryan Kohberger, waived his right to an extradition hearing and agreed to willingly return to Idaho.
So, why did the courts make this decision?
A nondissemination order, commonly referred to as a "gag order," is the term for "when a judge prohibits the attorneys, parties, or witnesses in a pending lawsuit or criminal prosecution from talking about the case to the public."
The Latah County order specifically prohibits those closely involved in this murder case from relaying information including:
- Evidence in the case
- The character, credibility, or criminal record of a party involved
- The results of any examinations in the case
- Any opinions on the merits of the case
- Anything that might impact a fair trial, including statements, confessions, and admissions given by Kohberger or information on plea deals.
Idaho law prohibits the release of probable cause documents before the defendant is physically in the state and formally served. Court documents will be unsealed after Kohberger appears in court.
According to the court documents, the court order will remain intact throughout court proceedings until a verdict has been reached or unless the mandate is modified by Latah County court.
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