Las Vegas Sun investigative reporter and religious editor, the Rev. Dan Newburn, was found in contempt of court yesterday for refusing to disclose his sources of information in his investigation of the "lost" Howard Hughes will, and eas ordered to the Clark County Jail for his refusal.

District Judge Charles Thompson stayed the order until 5 p.m. Wednesday so an appeal can be made to the Nevada Supreme Court.

"It was a very strange experience," said Newburn, an ordained Baptist minister.

The incident arose after Newburn made a statement for Hughes Medical Institute. The institute, trustee for Hughes Aircraft Co., has been taking depositions in a civil matter on the possible existence of the lost Hughes will.

In the April 6 interview - which was taped but not sworn - Newburn gave attorneys information into Hughes' estate.

He was interviewed then by Richard Ganno, special administrator for Hughes' estate in California, and attorney Martin Cook, attorney for Ganno and Hughes Medical Institute.

Newburn was subpoenaed to give a deposition in June. He refused to answer any questions under oath on the basis of the Nevada Shield Law, under which reporters are not required to disclose information or sources.

Judge Thompson then issued an order compelling him to testify. Newburn again refused to give a deposition, and Hughes Medical Institute asked that he be held in contempt.