published Monday, August 20th, 2012

Times Free Press asks gag order to be lifted on Jesse Mathews trial

Jesse Mathews
Jesse Mathews
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Should Jesse Mathews be allowed to speak to the Times Free Press?

A motion has been filed on behalf of the Times Free Press, asking a judge to lift on order that bars anyone, including the defendant, to talk to the media about a pending trial in the death of a Chattanooga police officer.

Anthony “Bud” Jackson filed the motion with Judge Barry Steelman Monday, asking that a hearing be scheduled for arguments against the gag order. The order has “hampered” the newspaper’s “ability to investigate and report on various matters of public concern,” Jackson wrote.

Times Free Press metro columnist David Cook received approval to interview Hamilton County Jail inmate Jesse Mathews from the defendant and had a scheduled appointment for Aug. 17.

In an expedited hearing two days before the scheduled meeting between Cook and Mathews, prosecutor Neal Pinkston asked Steelman to prevent Mathews from speaking to the public. Pinkston cited the need to maintain a fair trial and avoid tainting potential jurors.

Steelman granted the gag order.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Times Free Pres.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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