Documents, recordings, affidavits and other evidence in the murder case against Jarred Harrell, the man accused of kidnapping and killing 7-year-old Somer Thompson, are off limits to the public after a judge accepts a motion by a defense attorney.
Somer was abducted as she was headed home from school in October 2009. Her body was found three days later in a landfill in southeast Georgia. Harrell was arrested several months later and faces charges of first-degree murder, child molestation and dozens of counts of child pornography.
Circuit Judge William Wilkes' protective order, signed in December, also prohibits Clay County investigators and prosecution and defense attorneys from disclosing any information.
Harrell's court appearances remain open, but he has waived his right to appear in at every pretrial hearing since April. His trial is not likely to begin until 2012.
Prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty if Harrell is convicted, which is likely the reason for the drawn-out pretrial process.
Somer's mother, Diena Thompson, attends every hearing in the case.
"I'll be at every one of his trials. He will have nothing but my beautiful face to look at for the rest of the time that he's in the Clay County court system," Thompson said last month. "Because it's my daughter, and she'll never be left alone again."