A defendant's potential use of social media in the wake of a gag order in a high-profile murder trial became an issue for a Muscogee County Superior Court judge Friday morning.
Someone using a Facebook page with the name "Lane Kareem" has been posting comments on the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer's website during Lane's murder trial. Lane is charged with the murder of then-school superintendent Jim Burns in 1992.
Prosecutor George Lipscomb raised the issue of the post's on the newspaper's website Friday morning in front of Judge Bobby Peters. The case has been going on for two weeks and is currently in the hands of the jury.
"Someone with Kareem Lane's photo and using his name has been commenting on the Ledger-Enquirer's comments," Lipscomb told the court.
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Lane told the judge the posts were not his. Defense attorney Stacey Jackson declined to say if the Facebook page "Lane Kareem" was his client.
Lane is standing trial for the second time in two years for Burns' murder. In 2012 the jury deadlocked 10-2 in favor of acquittal. Since shortly after the trial, Lane has been free on a $30,000 bond.
A post on a story published to the newspaper's website Thursday night from the "Lane Kareem" Facebook account read: "If there is another hung jury, the defense will request that the charges be dismissed WITH prejudice. If granted, it's over forever."
Lane and all of the attorneys in the case are under an order from Peters not to make public comments about the case. That order has been in place since May 27, 2011.
The Burns family also has complied with the order, not making any public comments about the case. One of the reasons cited in the order was Lane's wife, Carol. She was operating a website freekareemlane.com and had conducted an interview with WTVM.
The prosecution contended that if the comments were Lane's it violated the gag order. Jackson told the court, "He physically did not make any postings are comments to L-E."
After court went back into recess, Jackson said, "My client did not violate the gag order. The order applies to the evidence in the case."