Mary Rice Files Motion to Restrict Media, Public From Pretrial Hearings

Alleged triple murder suspect Mary Rice and her attorney Kenneth Brooks, Jr. is asking the court to restrict publicity during her pre-trial hearings in Santa Rosa County.

In a motion filed Tuesday, Brooks said publicity could make it hard to find an impartial jury for Rice.

If granted, the motion would place all pre-trial hearings in closed chambers and bar the media from photographing, televising or reporting any activity from within the courtroom.

It would also block any court participant from commenting on any matter concerning the case during its pre-trial or trial, including police officers, witnesses and legal counsel.

The motion listed several factors that could effectively hinder Rice’s chances of receiving a “fair and unprejudiced jury,” including:

  1. The case’s high profile, being heavily covered and making national news during the eight-day spree
  2. Evidence that will be presented during pre-trial hearings
  3. Local law enforcement personnel and agencies influencing public opinion by releasing evidence and statements to media and commenting their opinions on the evidence

 

In Santa Rosa County, Rice faces one county of accessory after the fact to capital murder for the deaths of Alicia Greer and Jacqueline Moore.

Rice’s next scheduled court appearance there takes place on March 2. A hearing date has yet to be set.

Rice faces additional charges in Escambia County and Alabama.

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