A Texas judge has lifted a gag order against journalists in a case in which defense attorneys charge that personal relationships between two female news reporters and the prosecutor may have resulted in biased coverage, thereby tainting a jury pool, reports the Tyler Morning Telegraph. The “Mineola Swinger’s Club” case involves the sexual exploitation and abuse of small children. An attorney for Patrick “Booger Red” Kelly subpoenaed Morning Telegraph reporter Casey Knaupp, KLTV reporter Danielle Capper, and Smith County Assistant District Attorney Joe Murphy for a change of venue hearing set for Monday.
Knaupp and Murphy had dated, but the newspaper said the relationship ended more than five months ago, long before the trials in the Mineola Swinger's Club case began. “The allegations by Thad Davidson that my coverage of this case is biased are wholly unfounded,” Knaupp said. Three siblings who are now a 10-year-old girl, a 9-year-old boy, and a 7-year-old girl have testified that Kelly and his co-defendants taught them beginning at age 5 how to dance and perform sex acts in “kindergarten, then forced them to dance and have sex with each other in front of an audience at the swinger's club.