DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A judge has granted motions to limit media coverage of an upcoming capital murder trial.
One of two women charged in the death of another asked the court to prohibit everyone involved in the trial from speaking with the media in an effort to have an impartial jury and fair trial.
On Friday, a judge granted a motion for a gag order that prevents trial participants from giving information to the media and a motion denying cameras during the proceedings.
According to court documents filed early Wednesday, defense attorneys for Loretta Kay Carr are asking that witnesses, law enforcement, court employees, prosecutors and basically anyone involved in the case not be allowed to share any details with media.
The state is seeking the death penalty against Carr.
“A substantial likelihood exists that continued extrajudicial comments of the type previously made by the district attorney, law enforcement, and witnesses will taint the jury pool in this case,” the original filing said. “And this Court should enter a narrowly tailored order restricting extrajudicial statements by participants in this case.”
43-year-old Loretta Carr and her daughter, 21-year-old Jessie Kelly were charged with capital murder in the death of Mary Isbell, who had been missing since the fall of 2021. Their charges came as the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) held a press conference and said they received a credible tip last week.
Court documents say Carr “intentionally” caused Isbell’s death “by pushing her off of a cliff.” DCSO Chief Investigator Nick Brown described what the women did to Isbell as “inhuman and brutal.”
One of the women cooperated and helped lead authorities to Isbell’s remains, where a search team found them at the Little River Canyon National Park on June 28. The Alabama Department of Forensic Science’s Huntsville Laboratory later confirmed the remains as Isbell’s – on what would have been her 39th birthday.
Investigators also said they found physical evidence at Isbell’s home, leading to the arrests of Carr and Kelly. According to a criminal complaint filed on June 26, Carr is accused of kidnapping Mary Isbell in October 2021.
Brown said Kelly remains in custody in Pennsylvania awaiting extradition to Missouri on felony burglary charges.
A preliminary hearing for Carr has been scheduled for August 21 at the DeKalb County Courthouse. A bond hearing for Carr is set for August 2.