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Judge sets gag order in murder trial

PORTSMOUTH — A gag order has been issued in the Kara Garvin murder trial.

The protection order was issued on Friday by Scioto Common Pleas Judge Howard H. Harcha III prohibiting attorneys on either side from making statements about the case outside of the courtroom.

“Counsel shall not provide any statements or information to any source which may in any way influence any pretrial publicity in this prospective matter,” the order states.

Garvin, 30, is accused in the shooting deaths of husband and wife, Ed Mollett, 46, and Juanita Mollett, 43, and their daughter, Christina Mollett, 20. The triple homicide happened Dec. 22, 2008, at the Mollett’s trailer on Snook Road in Franklin Furnace.

Garvin, also of Franklin Furnace, faces 18 counts including aggravated murder, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, theft of drugs and tampering of evidence from an indictment that specified the death penalty.

The trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 19 in Harcha’s courtroom.

“The judge is concerned. He doesn’t want a bunch of publicity,” Shawn Davis, bailiff for Harcha’s court, said. “It is (about) getting a jury seated on the death penalty case. That is why the order went on.”

The trial was to have started in early November but was continued for the prosecution to get the results of DNA testing from the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation lab at London.

The order states it will remain in effect under further notice from the court.

“(It will be) up at least until we get a jury seated,” Davis said.