Gag order issued in child murder case

March 7, 2019

An Allen County judge has issued an order preventing the release of information in a murder case involving the death of a child. 

Prosecutors and defense attorneys for Daniel Pope, 29, sought the order, which stops “any party, including the (state) Department of Child Services and the Allen Superior Court Family Relations Division from releasing any information or opinions” in the case. Lawyers argued releasing the information would threaten Pope’s right to a fair trial. 

The order issued Wednesday by Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull comes after she ruled last month the documents that contain details about the child’s alleged abuse will be kept secret, pending “further order of the court.” State lawmakers also are debating a bill that would restrict access to records in child abuse and neglect investigations. 

Pope is charged with murder and aggravated battery in the death of Benjamyn Otto McKinley Frederick in March 2018. The boy was beaten, according to doctors interviewed by police.