The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halted proceedings involving a gag order issued by a district judge in the case of a biker arrested following a May shootout in Waco that left nine dead and 177 arrested.

The ruling late Thursday by the state's highest criminal court stays an order issued last week by Waco's 10th Court of Appeals while it considers an appeal by McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna.

The appellate court had ruled that District Court Judge Matt Johnson abused his discretion in issuing the gag order, which prevents involved parties from speaking to the media. Reyna argued the order was appropriate because it protected against pretrial publicity.

The high court gave parties on both sides 30 days to file briefs in the appeal.