Knox County Judge James Stewart barred the reporters but told them that transcripts of Friday's hearing for Nicholas Sheley would be available later.
Stewart set the hearing to clarify the details of an earlier order calling for Sheley's mental fitness to be evaluated.
Sheley is charged with killing six people in Illinois, including one in Galesburg, and an Arkansas couple in Missouri. He's being tried first for the Galesburg death.
Stewart earlier issued a gag order in the case after Sheley gave a jailhouse interview to an Associated Press reporter. Prosecutors and defense attorneys claimed the interview compromised the case.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)