Judge denies gag order in soldier murder case

A judge has denied a request by prosecutors for a gag order to prevent relatives of a soldier accused of kidnapping, raping and killing a Wilmington woman from talking about the case.

The judge denied the request Friday after defense attorneys said they would advise Dwight Smith and his family about the risks of speaking to the media.

Prosecutors filed the motion in response to a Veterans Day column in the op-ed pages of the New York Times in which Smith's father and wife discuss the effects of combat on him, including post-traumatic stress disorder. The column was accompanied by a letter Smith wrote to his father expressing concerns about his mental health and suggesting that he became "addicted to killing" during his military service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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