A North Carolina judge issued a gag order on on the lawyers, authorities, and witnesses involved in the case of a mother who is charged with one count of first-degree arson and two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of her two children, reports the Charlotte Observer.
Prosecutors filed the gag order request after a front-page story in the Observer quoted John Lentini, an arson investigator who is a national advocate of using research-based scientific methods to investigate fires. Lentini is an expert witness for the defense in the murder case. In the article, Lentini argued that the woman is innocent and that the fire was accidental. Prosecutors said statements of witnesses who will testify “pose a clear threat to the fairness of the trial and were an attempt to influence the jury pool.”