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Gag order set for remainder of trial for West Boys case

"Let them know there is a gag order.”
Orrin and Orson West Disappearance
Posted at 3:55 PM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 14:59:38-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — A gag order has been issued in the case of Trezell and Jacqueline West, the adoptive parents of Orrin and Orson West now accused of killing the boys.

The biological family which, as we know have spent the past 14 months looking for answers, were there today. While they are content with the motion, their main concern is still finding the boys bodies.

Judge Chad Louie said during court, “on the people’s request for a gag order, Mr. Hennessy did you have any objection on behalf of your client.

Both Timothy Hennessy and Alekxia Torres did not object.

With that, a gag was set, prohibiting investigators and law enforcements from publicly speaking about the case.

Judges usually issue these gag orders to guarantee a fair trial by preventing any information that can sway the public's opinion to reach the juries.

In this case, the gag order so far applies to investigators, police, all court personnel, and really anyone with access to the case file.

Meaning none of them are able to speak about this case for the remainder of the trial.

Meanwhile, given Tuesday’s hearing was a motion, Jacqueline and Trezell West were not physically in court. The attorneys representing them were and agreed to the gag order and are asking to extend the order to others.

Prosecutor Eric Smith originally did not list witnesses in the motion, but after it was brought up to the judge, the West's attorneys submitted to include witnesses.

“I don’t have any issue with that, the issue would be contacting all of the witnesses in an appropriate fashion and let them know there is a gag order,” said Smith

The prosecutor will have until March 15 to let witnesses know of the gag order.

The judge also agreed to seal the jury transcript and search warrants, including the probable cause, which is used by law enforcement to prove someone committed a crime.

The biological family of the boys were in court Tuesday morning and gave 23ABC their thoughts on the motion.

“Whoever the gag order is on, it is a good thing, especially in this case. Cause we don’t want anything to get leaked out, or misinformation or mislead. You know everything we have been through in the past 14 months; we are trying to prevent that from happening again especially now that they are locked up. All we have to do now is just let the prosecutor and them do their job,” said Rosanna Wills, cousin of the biological father.

“It happened in Kern County you know, from Bakersfield to Cal City, the system, it all happened in Kern County, so it is only right to have it here where it started.”

On Monday, the defense stated they were considering changing the location for the trial because they believe many in the community have already made their mind up on the case.

The biological family of the West Boys does not want the case to be tried outside of Kern County.

The adopted parents have pleaded not guilty and are being held with no bail. The trial is set to begin on May 23.