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Judge in high-profile murder case limits defendant's media contacts

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An Illinois judge has blocked a high-profile murder defendant from contacting anyone not on a pre-approved list of relatives and…

An Illinois judge has blocked a high-profile murder defendant from contacting anyone not on a pre-approved list of relatives and friends, and told all attorneys in the case to notify him before issuing press releases and holding news interviews, in a bid to deflect the media glare in the case.

Drew Peterson, a former police officer, was indicted in May in the murder of his third wife. He has pleaded not guilty. According to the AP, Will County Judge Stephen White said Wednesday that Peterson, who had called into a Chicago radio station days earlier, will need permission to phone anyone other than his approved contacts. The judge also told the lawyers, according to the AP, "If you are going to do an interview, I would like to be informed (beforehand) as to the time and place."

The wire service reports that both Peterson and his lawyer have given frequent interviews, in a case that has drawn media scrutiny nationwide. It was the prosecution that reportedly asked White to clamp down on the publicity to safeguard a fair trial.