Motion to lift gag order filed in Fenner case for juror investigation

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. —Assistant District Attorney Garland F. Byers filed a notice of hearing to defendant Brooke McFadden Covington and and  defense counsel as to the court’s order of June 6 for the jury. Judge Gary Gavenus had imposed a gag order on members of the jury, witnesses, and attorneys regarding the trial of the Matthew Fenner Case.

The Covington trial ended in mistrial with two incidents of jury tampering. The jury foreman, Perry Shade, was associated with both incidents. While the district attorney’s office received the court’s permission to interrogate Shade while he was serving a contempt of court jail term, Judge Gavenus’ gag order prevents law enforcement investigators from interviewing the jurors who served with him.

While the Associated Press and Charlotte Observer have also filed a motion to lift the gag order in its entirety, ADA Byers has limited the gag order revision to the law enforcement investigation of the events that led up to the mistrial in the Covington trial and the actions of Shade. The matter is to come before the Superior Court Judge Marvin Jesse Caldwell on July 17, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.

A new trial against Word of Faith Fellowship minister Brooke Covington is tentatively scheduled for September 11, 2017.