Gag order issued in York County murder for hire case

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

More twists and turns in the case of a York County businessman accused of three separate murder-for-hire plots. A York County judge has issued a gag order, meaning the defense and prosecution cannot talk to the media about the case.

The defense also filed a motion to have one of the prosecutors removed from the case, but has since withdrawn that request.

Gregory Hess is accused of trying to have his estranged wife's boyfriend killed, as well as informants who helped prosecutors build their case against him.

Hess appeared in the courtroom Tuesday with an electronic monitoring bracelet around his ankle. He was recently released on $2 bail because it was determined his right to a speedy trial was violated. The judge also delayed his trial.

In response to that decision on March 17, 2015, chief deputy prosecutor Dave Sunday held a press conference expressing surprise about the delay. The defense accused Sunday of jeopardizing the case, and asked for Sunday to be removed from the case, and asked the judge to issue a gag order.

On Tuesday Judge Thomas Kelley issued the gag order. FOX43 also learned that the defense withdrew their request to remove Attorney Sunday.

The state subpoenaed FOX43's video and our interview with Sunday from the March 17, 2015 press conference, where he said in part, "We as a group agreed to when this would be tried. The defense attorney wanted additional time. The defense attorney requested a continuance. The Commonwealth was ready for trial and that's why it was continued," said Sunday.

The judge gave the defense until April 8 to file any more motions regarding the case. Hess is now scheduled to go to trial May 18.

The judge also said both sides will be able to question the jury about their knowledge of the case, and whether they have been influenced by the coverage of it.