The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

April 18, 2014

Judge grants motion on witness comments

KNOXVILLE — Judge John Lloyd has granted a motion, filed by Troy Neil Rider's defense, to limit extrajudicial comment by witnesses regarding the sexual abuse case against Rider. 

The motion for this order was filed March 14, A resistance was filed by Marion County Attorney Ed Bull on April 10. 

Rider's attorney, Brandon Brown, told Lloyd in Marion County District Court Friday morning that statements were made to the media, regarding Rider, prior to a criminal complaint being filed. Brown believes that the comments made by Knoxville Police Chief Dan Losada broke rules regarding conduct of law enforcement agencies. 

Bull disagreed, saying that the comments did not violate the law. Losada was complying with media requests, which the KPD is required to do. He believes that the motion is an "attack on the First Amendment" and that if Rider felt he has been prejudiced in the case, he could file for a change of venue. 

Lloyd said he was not convinced that the court should have to wait to remedy the defense's concerns for a change of venue. While there is information that must be public, Lloyd granted the motion to prevent counsel and witnesses from making comments outside of court proceedings. Law enforcement can continue to provide factual information and documents, as required by law. 

Brown then asked Lloyd to extend the order to include, not only witnesses listed in the case file, but the agencies involved with the case. Lloyd said he does not believe that he has the authority to place the order on entire agencies, beyond those individuals listed in the file. 

Lloyd intends to include language from the code regarding the restrictions, but he believes the onus is on Bull to ensure that his witnesses and law enforcement understand the order and comply by the rules. 

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