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Gag order, camera limits imposed in murder extradition trial

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Gag order, camera limits imposed in murder extradition trial 06/16/97 CALIFORNIA--A municipal court judge in Los Angeles imposed a gag…

Gag order, camera limits imposed in murder extradition trial

06/16/97

CALIFORNIA–A municipal court judge in Los Angeles imposed a gag order but rescinded it moments later in connection with the arrest of eighteen-year-old Jeremy Strohmeyer, who is charged with sexually assaulting and murdering seven-year-old Sherrice Iverson in a restroom at the Primadonna Resort in Goodsprings, near Las Vegas.

Judge Michael Kellogg imposed the gag order after defense attorney Leslie Abramson asked him to bar anyone connected to the case from speaking with the media. According to the Associated Press, Abramson asked the judge to lift the gag order because it would require her to “keep … quiet.”

The proceedings are being videotaped by a pool camera but, on Abramson’s request, the judge has barred the media from photographing, videotaping or sketching her or Strohmeyer.

According to Abramson, both she and Strohmeyer have received death threats.

Strohmeyer, who resides in Long Beach, was named in a fugitive warrant signed in early June by Goodsprings Justice of the Peace Janet Smith, who issued a gag order barring anyone involved in the proceedings from publicly disclosing any information about the case. Abramson asked Smith to impose the gag order after police department officials were quoted in newspaper accounts about the murder investigation.

Strohmeyer signed an affidavit admitting that he sexually assaulted and strangled Iverson. His attorneys assert that the confession was not voluntary because police refused to provide him with legal counsel and interrogated him in the hospital while he was still under the influence of pills he took before his arrest. (California v. Strohmeyer; Media Counsel: Mark Hinueber; Las Vegas)