What is a gag order? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

What is a gag order?

Gag order issued in Tara Grinstead's murder investigation. (Source: Superior Court of Irwin County Clerk's Office) Gag order issued in Tara Grinstead's murder investigation. (Source: Superior Court of Irwin County Clerk's Office)
Ryan Duke (Source: WALB) Ryan Duke (Source: WALB)
Greg Edwards (Source: WALB) Greg Edwards (Source: WALB)
Tara Grinstead (Source: WALB) Tara Grinstead (Source: WALB)
DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) -

As WALB has reported, the Tara Grinstead investigation is under a gag order at this time.

We spoke with Dougherty DA Greg Edwards, who has no involvement in the Tara Grinstead case, to get a better understanding of what exactly a gag order is and why a judge would issue one. 

Edwards explained that it is a legal order by a judge to keep officials, witnesses, and family members of the defendant and alleged victim from giving any information or further comments on the investigation to the public. 

He said, for cases that have received a lot of media attention, the gag order will allow the defendant to have an impartial jury.

"It's to make sure that whoever hears the case has not preformed opinions based on information that comes out in the course of media presentations and things like that," said Edwards.  "Otherwise, it might result in a need to move venue of the case.  That is the trial itself has to be moved to a place where there has not been that type of media exposure."

We received a copy of the gag order issued by Superior Court Judge Melanie Cross.  

It states the order is in effect "during the pendency of this case and until the final determination in the trial court."

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