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Judge Gull ponders gag order

February 12, 2019

A judge is considering a request by prosecutors and defense attorneys to issue a gag order in a murder case that would prohibit the state Department of Child Services from releasing information related to the case.

Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull granted a separate request last week by lawyers on both sides to keep secret records that include details about the alleged abuse of Benjamyn Otto McKinley Frederick, 5. Daniel Pope, 29, is charged with murder and aggravated battery in the boy’s death.

The gag order proposed by interim chief public defender Michelle Kraus and Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards would bar “any party, including DCS from releasing any information or opinions regarding matters pertaining to the” case.

Attorneys argue releasing the information threatens Pope’s right to a fair trial and could bias potential jurors.

Gull took no action on the gag order request in a hearing today in Allen Superior Court.

Benjamyn died in March, and doctors said the boy was “severely beaten” and had injuries all over his body.

mleblanc@jg.net

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