Judge closes custody hearing in Pa. poisoning case

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A western Pennsylvania judge held a closed-door hearing on an unspecified custody issue involving the 6-year-old daughter of a University of Pittsburgh researcher who’s charged with fatally poisoning his neurologist wife with cyanide in April.

Attorneys aren’t commenting because of a gag order Allegheny County Judge David Cashman issued in the criminal homicide case of 64-year-old Dr. Robert Ferrante.

Ferrante had tried to have his sister, who lives in Florida, care for the couple’s daughter, Cianna, before a judge last month granted temporary custody to the parents of Ferrante’s dead wife, Dr. Autumn Klein.

Prosecutors have said the girl is a witness in the case, and don’t want Ferrante to have contact with her.

It was not clear if the girl’s custody status was changed or simply made permanent at Wednesday’s closed hearing.

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