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Judge issues gag order in Virginia murder case

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A Virginia judge has issued a gag order in the trial of a New York man accused in the 1981 stabbing death of a 20-year-old woman inside her apartment.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reports Circuit Judge Everett Martin ordered prosecutors, the defense attorney and a homicide detective not to talk to reporters about the first-degree murder trial of Daniel Johnston. Martin says he wants to ensure Johnston gets a fair trial.

Corrections records in New York show Johnston has been serving a prison sentence for the last 32 years for murder, sex abuse and assault. He was indicted in 2016 in the death of Donna Walker.

On Tuesday, Martin ordered the two prosecutors in the courtroom to tell the spokeswoman for their office the order applied to her as well.

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com

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