BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Attorneys prosecuting or defending the defendant in the mass shooting outside a downtown restaurant last summer will no longer be allowed to discuss the case with the media.
Erie County Court Judge Sheila DiTullio issued a gag order before jury selection started Tuesday morning.
"I will not allow this case to be tried in the media," Judge DiTullio said as she issued the order, granting a prosecution request.
DiTullio cited a comment made yesterday to reporters by the defense attorney for suspected gunman Riccardo McCray.
Joseph Terranova's comments referred to four jailhouse informants that are going to testify against McCray, claiming they received information from the 23-year-old about the case while they served with him in the Erie County Holding Center.
"We frequently see it in this kind of case," Terranova said. "The human cockroaches come out of the shadows in all of these high-profile cases. And they're willing to say what it takes to benefit themselves."
While attorneys in the case will no longer be able to discuss the case, the media will still be allowed to cover the trial. Opening and closing statements will be photographed and videotaped.
McCray is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder and four counts of first-degree attempted murder for the August 14 mass shooting outside City Grill Restaurant on Main Street.
Willie McCaa, 26, Tiffany Wilhite, 32, Danyell Mackin, 30 and Shawntia McNeil, 27, were killed.
Four others, including Tillman Ward, were injured. Over the weekend, Ward identified McCray as the alleged shooter, a police detective testified in court during a pre-trial hearing.
Ward, who is currently jailed on a weapons charge, will receive a reduced charge in exchange for his "truthful testimony," according to the prosecution.