A Georgia judge may be setting a precedent by ordering that the location of a murder trial be kept secret until one business day before jury selection, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Other high-profile cases were moved for pretrial publicity.
Several prosecutors said they thought the order in the retrial of Lynn Turner was unique. Rick Malone, a veteran prosecutor and the executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia, said he’s never heard of a trial’s location being sealed. Last Thursday, Forsyth County Chief Judge Jeffrey Bagley issued a gag order prohibiting Turner’s defense team, prosecutors and even witnesses from disclosing the trial’s new location. Turner, already been convicted of killing her husband in 1995, was to stand trial this month in the 2001 antifreeze poisoning death of the father of her two children. On Jan. 16, after six days of jury selection in the death penalty case, Bagley ordered the trial moved out of county because of pretrial publicity.