[Hpn] Gag order issued in homeless beating case

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Mon, 28 Jan 2008 16:48:03 -0500


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Gag order issued in homeless beating case
Posted on Mon, Jan. 28, 2008
http://www.miamiherald.com/466/story/396629.html
BY ANI MARTINEZ
armartinez@MiamiHerald.com=20
A judge has ruled that future statements and depositions in a =
first-degree murder case involving the beating death of a homeless man =
in Fort Lauderdale will not be made public.

Broward Circuit Judge Cynthia Imperato signed a defense motion to seal =
depositions and issued a gag order Monday to prohibit all attorneys, =
police investigators and potential witnesses to publicly speak about the =
case.

She is also considering barring the media and the public from a hearing =
Thursday in which a taped statement from one of the suspects will be =
played in court.

''The instant case has already garnered a great amount of national and =
local coverage,'' according to Imperato's gag order. 'And this court =
believes that some extra-judicial comments may very well have already =
been prejudicial to the respective parties' rights.''

Billy Ammons, 20, of Fort Lauderdale; Brian Hooks, 20, of Plantation; =
and Thomas Daugherty, 19, of Plantation face first-degree murder charges =
for the Jan. 12, 2006, beating death of Norris Gaynor, 45. They have =
pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The defense argued that the media and public should also be excluded =
from a hearing Thursday in which Ammon's taped statement is scheduled to =
be presented in court. Imperato said she will watch the video privately =
Monday and will issue an order Tuesday on the motion.

''I am trying to preserve a trial here in Broward County and trying to =
have a fair trial in Broward County,'' said Samuel Halpern, Ammon's =
lawyer. ``That isn't going to be easy, given the widespread pervasive =
and negative publicity thus far.''

Attorneys for the media argued that publicizing the video does not mean =
it will lead to a partial jury or an unfair trial.

''The public has a right to know how the court bases their decisions,'' =
said Dana McElroy, representing the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and =
WTVJ-NBC 6 and WPLG-ABC 10.

``There have been a lot of high-profile cases with confessions and as =
far as I know this would be the first closed hearing in Broward =
County.''













William Charles Tinker, Sr.
New Hampshire Homeless
Founded 11-28-99
25 Granite Street
Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640 USA
Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human rights.
1-603-286-2492
http://www.missingkids.com
http://www.nationalhomeless.org
http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org
newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com

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<H1>Gag order issued in homeless beating case</H1>
<DIV class=3Dcf id=3DstoryDate-Links=20
style=3D"BORDER-TOP: #ddd 1px solid; MARGIN: 10px 0px; PADDING-TOP: 2px; =
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<H5>Posted on Mon, Jan. 28, 2008</H5><STRONG><FONT size=3D2><A=20
href=3D"http://www.miamiherald.com/466/story/396629.html">http://www.miam=
iherald.com/466/story/396629.html</A></FONT></STRONG></DIV>
<H3 class=3Dbyline>BY ANI MARTINEZ</H3><!--  begin =
/production/story/credit_line_format.comp -->
<H3 class=3Dcredit_line><A =
href=3D"mailto:armartinez@MiamiHerald.com"><FONT=20
color=3D#004276>armartinez@MiamiHerald.com</FONT></A> </H3><!--  end =
/production/story/credit_line_format.comp -->
<P>A judge has ruled that future statements and depositions in a =
first-degree=20
murder case involving the beating death of a homeless man in Fort =
Lauderdale=20
will not be made public.</P>
<P>Broward Circuit Judge Cynthia Imperato signed a defense motion to =
seal=20
depositions and issued a gag order Monday to prohibit all attorneys, =
police=20
investigators and potential witnesses to publicly speak about the =
case.</P>
<P>She is also considering barring the media and the public from a =
hearing=20
Thursday in which a taped statement from one of the suspects will be =
played in=20
court.</P>
<P>''The instant case has already garnered a great amount of national =
and local=20
coverage,'' according to Imperato's gag order. 'And this court believes =
that=20
some extra-judicial comments may very well have already been prejudicial =
to the=20
respective parties' rights.''</P>
<P>Billy Ammons, 20, of Fort Lauderdale; Brian Hooks, 20, of Plantation; =
and=20
Thomas Daugherty, 19, of Plantation face first-degree murder charges for =
the=20
Jan. 12, 2006, beating death of Norris Gaynor, 45. They have pleaded not =
guilty=20
to the charges.</P>
<P>The defense argued that the media and public should also be excluded =
from a=20
hearing Thursday in which Ammon's taped statement is scheduled to be =
presented=20
in court. Imperato said she will watch the video privately Monday and =
will issue=20
an order Tuesday on the motion.</P>
<P>''I am trying to preserve a trial here in Broward County and trying =
to have a=20
fair trial in Broward County,'' said Samuel Halpern, Ammon's lawyer. =
``That=20
isn't going to be easy, given the widespread pervasive and negative =
publicity=20
thus far.''</P>
<P>Attorneys for the media argued that publicizing the video does not =
mean it=20
will lead to a partial jury or an unfair trial.</P>
<P>''The public has a right to know how the court bases their =
decisions,'' said=20
Dana McElroy, representing the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and WTVJ-NBC 6 =
and=20
WPLG-ABC 10.</P>
<P>``There have been a lot of high-profile cases with confessions and as =
far as=20
I know this would be the first closed hearing in Broward County.''</P>
<P>&nbsp;</P>
<P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
<P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
<P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
<P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
<P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P><!-- story_mapbox.comp =
--><!-- /story_mapbox.comp --></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>William Charles Tinker, Sr.<BR>New =
Hampshire=20
Homeless<BR>Founded 11-28-99<BR>25 Granite Street<BR>Northfield,N.H. =
03276-1640=20
USA<BR>Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human=20
rights.<BR>1-603-286-2492<BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.missingkids.com">http://www.missingkids.com</A><BR><A =

href=3D"http://www.nationalhomeless.org">http://www.nationalhomeless.org<=
/A><BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org">http://www.newhampshirehomel=
ess.org</A><BR><A=20
href=3D"mailto:newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com">newhampshirehom=
eless-subscribe@topica.com</A><BR></FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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