Gag Order Remains in Anthony Graves Case

A gag order will remain in the case of a former death-row inmate awaiting retrial.

Thursday, defense lawyers for Anthony Graves asked a Burleson County judge to lift the order issued in September, prohibiting prosecutors and defense attorneys from commenting on the case.

Defense attorney's argue the gag order prevents Anthony Graves from receiving a fair trial, but Burleson County District Court Judge Reva Towslee Corbett denied the request.

Thursday's pre-trial hearing was called to discuss a motion by the defense to disqualify Assistant District Attorney Joan Scroggins from the retrial.

Scroggins was a member of the prosecution team in 1994 when Anthony Graves was convicted of capital murder.

Graves was found guilty of the 1992 deaths of Bobbie Joyce Davis; her 16-year-old daughter, Nicole; and four grandchildren.
He was granted a new trial after a federal appeals court in March threw out the conviction when it found prosecutors withheld two statements that could have swayed jurors during his trial.

The only evidence linking Graves to the crime was the testimony of co-defendant Robert Earl Carter.
On the night before the trial, Carter told former Burleson County prosecutor Charles Sebesta, "I did it all myself."
Sebesta didn't tell Graves' attorney about the statement.
Carter implicated his wife as an accomplice in the deaths, but Sebesta also failed to disclose that.

Carter was executed by lethal injection on May 31, 2000.

The defense argued prosecution teams work so closely that Scroggins would have known about Carter's claims, but Thursday she denied that.

The judge will make her decision regarding Scroggins' disqualification by December 8.


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