2010-05-31 / Local News

Attorney for Cass Smith files motion requesting ‘gag order’

By TIM GULLA Ledger Staff Writer tim@gaffneyledger.com

While Cass Franklin Smith may have already done a lot of talking, a defense lawyer is planning on silence as the case goes forward.

On Wednesday, Smith’s attorney filed several new legal motions in the triple homicide case, among them a request for a “gag order” from the court to limit outsidethe courtroom comments by attorneys involved in the case.

Seventh Judicial Circuit Public Defender Clay Allen claims Smith’s right to a fair trial would be denied “without some restraint on the potential trial participants and those involved with the investigation of this case.”

In addition, in separate motions, Allen informed the court that Smith was invoking his constitutional rights under the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments and revoking any prior waivers of such rights.

The motions essentially mean that Smith won’t be talking with police or prosecutors going forward and that any inquiries by prosecutors and police have to be directed to the defense attorney.

Allen outlines in the motion a whole list of people who can’t speak to Smith on behalf of prosecutors, from inmates to jailers and “members of the print and broadcast media who may or may not be urged by law enforcement officials to engage defendant in conversation.”

Smith talked with several local television stations in the wake of the April 16 killings on Emily Lane, Cowpens, where three people, including Smith’s former girlfriend, her daughter and her new boyfriend, were shot to death.

Smith had identified himself as a person of interest in the case but denied to local television stations he had anything to do with the deaths.

Later, he allegedly confessed to the murders when interviewed again by police.

Prosecutors have already announced their intention to seek the death penalty and declined Smith’s offer to plead guilty to all charges in exchange for a sentence of life imprisonment.

Allen made Smith’s plea offer public when he filed a copy of the offer in court records last week.

Prosecutors responded on Monday by filing a public copy of their response.

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