SALT LAKE CITY -- A southern Utah defense attorney is asking a state judge to bar the public and the press from hearings in a double murder case out of fear the publicity will taint a jury pool.
Aric Cramer represents Paul Clifford Ashton. He's one of two men charged with aggravated murder in the December 2010 shooting deaths of 27-year-old Brandie Sue Dawn Jerden and 20-year-old Jerrica Christensen.
If convicted, the 32-year-old Ashton, could face the death penalty.
Court papers filed in 5th District Court this week contend Ashton may not be able to get a fair trial if the hearings are open. Cramer says news reports of sensitive case details could prejudice potential jurors in the St. George area.
Judge James Shumate has not yet ruled on the request.