Saying that his client has already been judged in the media, Charles Severance's attorney asked Thursday for a gag order in the case, but was denied, according to several news reports.
Gag orders are a form of prior restraint that prohibit parties, lawyers, prosecutors, witnesses, law enforcement officials, jurors and others from talking to the press, according to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Frequently such orders are sought by one party in a case, although judges may issue gag orders on their own initiative.
Ed Ungvarsky of Arlington, who is representing Severance, says his client has been unfairly tied to the unsolved Alexandria murders of Nancy Dunning, Ron Kirby, and Ruthanne Lodato.
“Mr. Severance looks significantly different than the police sketch of the suspect,” he noted in his written request.