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Gag Order Lifted on Rape, Slaying of Girl at Casino

<i> From Associated Press</i>

A justice of the peace has lifted her gag order in the murder case involving a 7-year-old girl found raped and strangled in a Primm hotel restroom two weeks ago.

Justice of the Peace Janet Smith on Saturday vacated her 3-day-old gag order in the case of Jeremy Strohmeyer, 18, of Long Beach, who is charged with the rape and murder of Sherrice Iverson of Los Angeles.

But to ensure the fairness of any future legal proceedings against the teenager, Smith forbade anyone linked to the case from making prejudicial statements about the defendant.

She named Clark County prosecutors, Las Vegas Metropolitan police and court staff members as those who should not make damaging comments about Strohmeyer.

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The girl’s body was found May 25 in a women’s restroom in the arcade of the Primadonna Resort on the California line 43 miles south of Las Vegas.

Smith’s reversal came a day after the Las Vegas Review-Journal filed a motion saying that the gag order was “overbroad and in violation of the 1st Amendment.” But Smith wrote Saturday that the newspaper misconstrued the “intent and scope of the court’s order.”

“Since the court has not imposed a prior restraint on any media outlet or representative, no further hearing on the matter is required,” she said.

Smith issued the gag order Wednesday at the request of Strohmeyer’s attorneys.

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“I implore you to use your authority to muzzle Metro and strive to litigate this case inside the courtroom,” wrote defense attorney Richard Wright.

Despite the lifting of the gag order, Las Vegas homicide Det. Bill Keeton said Saturday that he would not discuss the case.


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