Judge Julie Carnes signed a protective order in the DeKalb County court this morning, prohibiting attorneys from discussing the case of Justin Ross Harris during media interviews. As you may know, Harris is under investigation for the murder of his 22-month-old son, Cooper, after leaving him in a hot car for a whole day. The judge’s order was signed as a result of the “high public profile” of the murder case and the “heightened emotion” surrounding it. (Source: metroatlanta.com)
SAN LOUIS OBISPO – After the first appearance of Paul and Ruben Flores on 15. In April, Judge Craig Van Rooyen signed a protective order in the case.
Wednesday the 14th. In April, prosecutors filed charges against Paul Flores, 44, and his father, Ruben Flores, 80.
Paul Flores is charged with the murder of Christine Smart and Ruben Flores is charged with accessory to murder.
Attorney Robert Sanger filed a protective order on behalf of his client, Paul Flores. None of the lawyers objected.
The protective order says it applies to the following people:
- The parties to this dispute
- Lawyers involved in the case, including prosecutors, defense attorneys and their investigators.
- Law enforcement officers, including deputies from the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office.
- Clerks and bailiffs
- Bailiffs or employees
- Any agent, representative or employee of any of the above.
The protective order originally included state officials, but Judge Van Rooyen asked that state officials be excluded.
Judge Van Rooyen also said state court officials should coordinate with the press and inform them of time and place of hearings and the order of broadcast.
Late on the evening of the 19th. However, in April, two media sources shared excerpts of reports about the release on bail of Paul and Ruben Flores.
The excerpts include statements from Assistant District Attorney Christopher Purville, Detective Cole and the Smart family at 15 and 16. April.
Detective Cole stated that he opposes the release on bail of defendant Paul Flores because they [the sheriffs] have biological evidence that leads them to believe that the victim was buried under the deck of defendant’s father. Detective Cole stated that both the suspect and his father were involved in the case and that it was a family crime. Detective Cole said if the suspect was released, he could move the body again.
One of Purwell’s statements about Ruben Flores reads as follows:
Ruben Flores repeatedly lied and failed to cooperate with police for 24 years, with the express intent of helping Paul Flores evade prosecution. Excavations under his terrace at 710 White Court showed strong indications that a body had been buried there and then recently moved. Reuben Flores did everything he could to help his son Paul Flores hide the remains of Christine Smart. Moreover, based on the evidence gathered during the search, there is reason to believe that Ruben Flores now knows where Christine Smart’s remains are. If he is released on bail, he will certainly use his freedom to continue to try to help Paul Flores thwart the prosecution in this case and continue to hide his remains. A strong request is made to set bail for Ruben Flores without bond because $250,000 is not enough.
Both statements reveal important information about the case that was not publicly known, including the recent transfer of the remains from Ruben Flores’ home in White Court to Arroyo Grande.
After contacting Smart’s attorney’s office, Attorney Robert Sanger, and Harold Mesick’s office, they all believed that these documents should be sealed and not disclosed pursuant to a valid protective order.
Tony Cipolla, spokesman for the SLO County Sheriff’s Department, could only confirm that the documents submitted do not belong to the Sheriff’s Department.
According to all contacted, they were aware of the newspaper clippings that appeared online today, but could not comment further on them.
According to the court hearing officer, the above bail reports are not public because of the protection order.
In essence, the protective order for the Flores case provides that none of the named persons shall disclose in any form any documents, exhibits or other evidence relating to this case.
This includes the ability to obtain any document, exhibit or other evidence and the identity of witnesses.
A more common or colloquial term for this term is gag order: a court order that prohibits discussing a case in public.
If a listed person believes it is necessary to make a public statement in response to adverse publicity, he or she may apply to the court for permission to make such a statement.
The order remains in effect until further order of the court.
We have contacted the Attorney General’s office for more information on this case and will keep you posted as soon as there is an update.
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We’ll get through this together, Atascadero.