BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Superior Court judge on Wednesday issued a gag order barring attorneys and law enforcement from speaking to the media regarding the case of an Inglewood man accused of raping and killing a 13-year-old Bakersfield girl.
The one exception to the order is to tell the media on what dates court hearings will be held, Judge Michael G. Bush said.
The case of Armando Cruz has received heavy media coverage since his arrest July 5 in the death of Patricia Alatorre. He met the teen through social media and drove from Inglewood to Bakersfield to engage in sex acts with her, according to court documents.
When Alatorre struggled, Cruz strangled her then drove back to Inglewood with her body, where he set it on fire, according to the documents. Investigators said he admitted to the killing.
Cruz could possibly face the death penalty if convicted. He was not in court for Wednesday’s hearing as his attorneys stipulated they would appear on his behalf and his presence wasn’t necessary.
A motion filed by the defense to bar the media from future court hearings will be held at a later date.