MOSCOW, Idaho — Latah County Court Magistrate Judge Megan Marshall has amended the nondissemination order issued in relation to the University of Idaho student murders case.
The updated order prohibits attorneys representing the victims' families from discussing the case publicly. This means the attorneys representing the families of the four victims- Ethan Chapin, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Madison Mogen- cannot discuss any aspect of the court proceedings with the public or the media.
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."
Shortly after a suspect in the Moscow murders was arrested in Pennsylvania, a judge issued a nondissemination order preventing anyone involved in the case from discussing the proceedings publicly.
On Thursday, the judge took the order a step further.
In a recently released order, Judge Marshal ordered: "any attorney representing witness, victim, or victim‘s family, as well as the parties to the above-entitled action, including but not limited to investigators, law enforcement personnel, and agents for the prosecuting attorney or defense attorney, are prohibited from making extrajudicial statements (written or oral) concerning this case."
This means the attorneys for the victims' families are prohibited from discussing:
- 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 the suspect or information on plea deals.
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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