Judge limits information in Newberry murder case

Grose says local and state officials are leaking too much information.

Newberry (WACH) -- From social networking sites to city-wide rallies, Newberry County under the microscope for nearly two months following the brutal death of Anthony Hill.

"With the coverage that's been focused on this case, ya'll report the facts, we respond to the facts," said SLED Director Reggie Lloyd.

But it's the ongoing coverage that lawyer Charles Grose wants the court to control. Grose is the attorney for Gregory Collins, the man accused of shooting Anthony Hill to death and then tying his body to a truck and dragging him for nearly ten miles.

"These people jumping to conclusions, people rushing to judgment, those people might end up on juries," said Defense Attorney Charles Grose.

Grose is concerned his client is being tried and convicted through the media, with the help of local and state officials leaking--what he considers--too much information. It's a notion law officials and the prosecution deny.

"None of us, whether its the press or the law enforcement scheduled any rallies or marches," said Lloyd. "We didn't go around making statements based on rumors or innuendo."

"As a prosecutor I even have a further limitation," said Solicitor Jerry Peace. "It's because we do not want to prejudice a defendants rights."

But the Defense Attorney says the damage is done and he's now looking to damage control. Grose hoping Judge Eugene Griffith would hear his plea and end what he considers to be excessive pre-trial publicity.

"We don't feel like the rules have been strictly complied with," said Grose. "There's this whole air of condemnation out there, rush to judgment in those two camps that I talked about."

Judge Griffith ultimately deciding instead of eliminating, to limit the information each camp can disclose to outsiders. The judge believes the public has a right to know what's going on in this controversial case.

And although the judge says the public is entitled to information, Solicitor Jerry Peace knows every man deserves a fair trial.

"A person is innocent until proven guilty," said Peace. "And that finding of guilty can't be out in the public."

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Gag order requested in Newberry murder/dragging - Yesterday at 5:25 PMAttorneys representing Gregory Collins, who is headed to trial for the murder and dragging of a Midlands man last month, are requesting a gag order be put in place. New Black Panthers march in Newberry - Saturday, July 17, 2010Newberry County is once again under the microscope after Anthony Hill, 30, was murdered and his body dragged behind a truck June 2. New Black Panther Party causes tensions to rise in Newberry County - Friday, July 16, 2010The New Black Panther Party says it TMs fighting for Justice in Newberry County. Large crowd expected for New Black Panther rally - Friday, July 16, 2010Officials have some security concerns when it comes to Saturday's rally. The New Black Panthers expect thousands of people at a march concerning the murder and dragging that they're calling a hate crime. SC police: Black man shot to death, body dragged - Thursday, June 03, 2010A 19-year-old white South Carolina man has made his first court appearance after being charged in the shooting death of a black man whose body was dragged for 10 miles behind a truck.