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Judge issues gag order in Bei Bei Shuai case

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The judge in the case of a woman charged with murder and attempted feticide in the death of her newborn daughter on Friday ordered prosecutors, defense attorneys and others involved in the case not to speak about it outside court.

Marion Superior Criminal Division 3 Judge Sheila Carlisle issued the order during a status hearing ahead of the trial scheduled to begin Sept. 3.   

Carlisle’s order cites Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct 3.6(a) and 3.6(d)(1)-(5). The order bars lawyers from making “any judicial statement that a reasonable person would expect to be disseminated by means of public communication if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know, that it will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing a trial in this cause.”

Prosecutors and defense attorneys also are ordered to exercise reasonable care to prevent potential witnesses, law enforcement, investigators or others involved in the case from making statements that attorneys otherwise would be prohibited from making.

Shuai was charged after the death of her daughter. In the waning days of 2010, Shuai attempted suicide by consuming rat poison after she was jilted by the baby’s father. After friends persuaded Shuai to seek medical attention, her daughter was delivered by Caesarian section but died a few days later. Defense attorneys say Shuai should not have been charged.

Prosecutors said the trial could last three weeks. Carlisle estimated as many as 150 to 200 potential jurors may be called to fill out questionnaires and be considered for a jury she said would consist of 12 jurors and likely six alternates.

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  1. Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in December, but U.S. District Judge Robert Miller later reduced that to about $540,000 to put the damages for suffering under the statutory cap of $300,000.

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