Gag order issued in Mauricio Torres trial

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BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Benton County Circuit Court Judge Brad Karren issued a gag order for the Mauricio Torres capital murder case, effective Tuesday, March 10.

The order bars all court personnel, and others who may testify in the future, from commenting to reporters.

MERRIAM WEBSTER “GAG ORDER” DEFINITION: a judicial ruling barring public disclosure or discussion (as by the press) of information related to a case broadly a similar nonjudicial prohibition against the release of confidential information or against public discussion of a sensitive matter

On Friday, March 6, Judge Karren signed a court document for a status hearing.

On Thursday, Judge Karren declared a mistrial in the case and dismissed the jury after an attempted witness attack on Torres. That witness, who was testifying at the time, was Torres’ stepson Quinton Martin, 24.

Defense attorney Jeff Rosenzweig said as for what happens next in the case, “we’re in an unchartered territory … let the State Supreme Court decide.”

Defense attorney Jeff Rosenzweig. Bentonville, Arkansas. March 2020.

Judge Karren added a second requirement during the status hearing and that is for a special master to be assigned to the case. The person selected is from Little Rock. He will be responsible to do fact-finding for potential witnesses and to make sure court rules are followed.

This type of request falls under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 53.

The next court hearing is March 19th, at 9 a.m. All attorneys will be present except for defense attorney George “Birc” Morledge IV. He has a calendar conflict and Mauricio Torres said this was fine when asked by Judge Karren.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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