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Three indicted in chaplain's death

Judge seals court documents

POSTED: January 27, 2009 12:51 a.m.

CLEVELAND — Three people charged in connection with the December murder of a Clermont chaplain were indicted Tuesday by a White County grand jury.

The criminal charges in the indictment against William Joseph “Joey” Dyer, Jennifer Lineberger and Amber
Ruark are unknown, however, after a judge ordered all court records related to the murder of Frank Harris Jr. sealed from public view.

Harris, 44, was stabbed and run over with his own car Dec. 1 after giving a ride to two people he picked up in Gainesville and took to Cleveland, authorities have said. Dyer, 20, and his 29-year-old live-in girlfriend, Lineberger, were charged with murder, robbery and other offenses in connection with Harris’ death. Later, police arrested

Ruark, 25, charging her with being a party to robbery.

On Tuesday, a White County grand jury met in a specially called session. White County District Attorney Stan Gunter confirmed that he presented the Dyer case and that Lineberger and Ruark also were listed as defendants on the indictment. All 23 cases presented to the grand jury were indicted.

Moments after White County Superior Court Judge David Barrett received the indictments from the grand jury in open court, White County Clerk of Court Dena Adams said she could not release Dyer’s indictment because of a court order issued last month by Judge Murphy Miller.

Miller, ruling on a motion by Dyer’s attorney to control pretrial publicity, imposed a gag order on all attorneys, witnesses and law enforcement officers, a routine procedure in high-profile cases. In a more unusual move, the judge also ordered that “all records and transcripts in this case will be sealed until a jury is impaneled and sequestered or until after trial.”

Miller also banned the use of cameras during all court proceedings in the case.

Gunter, citing the judge’s order, said he could not make any comment on the case, including saying what charges were included in the indictment.

Attempts to reach White County Public Defender Charlie Brown, the last known attorney for Dyer, were unsuccessful late Tuesday.

Gunter previously said he had not made a decision on whether to seek the death penalty in the case. Under the conditions of the court order, however, if the district attorney was to file formal notice of intent to seek the death penalty, that notice would also be sealed from public view and Gunter would be prohibited from discussing it.



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