Appeals Court Halts Freddie Gray Cop Trials
In an unprecedented move, Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals has placed on hold five of the six trials in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray. The 25-year-old Baltimore man died in April of last year while being transported in the back of a Baltimore police van. The first trial involving Officer William Porter ended in a mistrial and a retrial is scheduled for June.
Judge Barry Williams has ruled Officer Porter should be compelled to testify against Officer Caesar Goodson and Sgt. Alicia White. Porter implicated the pair for not taking any action to save Gray’s life in a taped deposition and while on the witness stand during his trial.
Porter’s defense attorneys appealed the Judge’s decision to Maryland’s high court. They argued it would violate their client’s right to self-incrimination, despite being given immunity by the prosecution.
The judge later ruled the prosecution could not use Porter as a witness in the remaining three officer’s trials (Offs. Edward Nero, Brian Rice and Garrett Miller). The prosecution appealed the judge’s ruling, which put in motion the hold on the trials.
In the writ of certiorari (a review of a lower court case) in the five cases related to the arrest and death of Gray, the court has ordered written arguments be delivered by February 24th and they will hear oral arguments simultaneously on all the cases on March 3.