MIAMI (AP) -A judge imposed a gag order in the case of slain Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor on Tuesday, saying continued publicity could compromise the trial of four men charged with murder.
Circuit Judge Dennis Murphy said attorneys for the four men have used the media with no regard for the effect their statements have on their co-defendants.
``There is a substantial likelihood that continued pretrial publicity without restraint will jeopardize the defendants' right to due process,'' the Miami-Dade County circuit judge ruled.
Taylor died Nov. 27, a day after he was shot in the bedroom of his home in what police have called a botched burglary.
Charged with first-degree felony murder and armed burglary in the case are Charles Wardlow, 18; Jason Mitchell, 19; Venjah Hunte, 20; and the accused gunman, Eric Rivera, 17. All remain behind bars while awaiting a trial tentatively scheduled for April.
David Brener, an attorney for defendant Charles Wardlow, said defense attorneys' statements about their clients being remorseful, expectations of a quick resolution and belief that the case would not go to trial are harmful.
``It implies the guilt of all the defendants,'' Brener said.
Murphy's order prohibits lawyers, law enforcement and Taylor's family from making comments about evidence in the case, defendants' statements and appropriate sentences. It also will result in the redaction of investigative material eventually released to the press, removing any statements related to potential confessions made by defendants.
Murphy still must review the recordings and transcripts of defendants' statements to police to decide what exactly falls under his order.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys found themselves generally in agreement over the move, but the ruling was a blow to members of the news media, who fought the gag order.
Scott Ponce, a lawyer representing The Miami Herald and CNN, said because he hasn't even been able to review investigative materials, it's impossible to know whether information is rightfully redacted.
``Having never seen the statements before, we won't know what the judge has exempted and what he hasn't exempted,'' said Ponce, who was joined by an attorney representing The Washington Post and Newsweek.

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Eagles vs. Cowboys Total Prediction Will Sunday night's NFC East matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys fall under the betting total when the two teams...
Thumbnail Patriots vs. Raiders Total Prediction Will the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders light up the scoreboard on Sunday afternoon when the two teams meet at 4:25 p.m. ET in Mexico...
Thumbnail Bills vs. Chargers Total Prediction Will the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Chargers struggle to score on Sunday when the two teams meet at 4:05 p.m. ET? Let's dive into this...
Thumbnail Chiefs vs. Giants Total Prediction Is the under a good bet on Sunday afternoon when the New York Giants host the Kansas City Chiefs at 1:00 p.m. ET?
Thumbnail Bengals vs. Broncos Total Pick Can the Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals get out of their offensive...

NFL Team Pages