Prosecution Seeks Gag Order, Reporter Threatened With Arrest, In NRA T-Shirt Controversy

WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

A couple of weeks ago a kid in West Virginia made national headlines after he was arrested in a dispute with his school over wearing an NRA t-shirt. He had worn the shirt to school once and been suspended for it. When he wore it again, the police were called and Jared Marcum was arrested for resisting arrest.

Now, after Marcum and his father have been making the rounds in the national media, the local prosecutor wants the judge to issue a gag order. No doubt because the prosecutor doesn’t want these absurd proceedings to get any more press attention, but ironically enough the prosecutor is arguing that this is for Marcum’s own good.

Anyway, a local television station that has been covering the station prepared a petition to present to the court to block the gag order. Obviously, they are defending the public’s right to follow the case through their reporter. But when the reporter prepared to present the petition, she was thrown out of court and threatened with arrest:

Prosecutors were hoping to bar Jared, his father and his lawyer from sharing their story with the press, under the guise that their request would serve Jared’s better interest, something Jared’s father Allen Lardieri sees as ironic.

“It was for Jared’s better interest is what I was told, which seems to be a bit odd to me,” Lardieri said. “These are the same individuals that are trying to prosecute him, so as far as them knowing what is in his better interest, I have a lot of questions about that.”

Charlo Greene, on behalf of WOWK and the free press, prepared a petition to intervene for the gag order hearing but before Charlo could present her argument or even deliver her petition to the court clerk, she was thrown out of the Logan County Courthouse, twice, by a bailiff, who said the judge presiding over Jared’s case, Eric O’Briant requested it. Charlo was then threatened with arrest and the same charge that Jared is currently on trial for, obstructing an officer.

Meanwhile, Jared met with prosecutors who withdrew their petition for a gag order, on the condition that Jared’s parent waive the confidentiality that bars the prosecution from speaking freely about his case, due to him being a minor.

It’s strange to think that something like this can happen in America.

You have to wonder just how many tax dollars are being expended because this kid’s school has a problem with the 1st amendment.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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