BALTIMORE -- A Baltimore judge refused yesterday to dismiss charges against six police officers in connection with the death of a black man of injuries he suffered while in custody. The judge also refused to remove the prosecutor in the case.
The death of Freddie Gray, 25 -- who succumbed to injuries sustained after his arrest on April 12 -- sparked protests, rioting and unrest that shook Baltimore for days. A demonstration yesterday outside the courtroom where a pretrial hearing on the charges took place attracted dozens and resulted in one arrest.
Defense attorneys failed to convince Circuit Judge Barry Williams that what they claimed was prosecutorial misconduct on the part of State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby was reason enough to drop the charges against the police officers -- which range from second-degree assault to second-degree murder.
Williams ruled that while Mosby's public comments regarding initial statements made by the officers to investigators were "troubling," they were not likely to prejudice a jury.
Andrew Graham, an attorney for Officer Caesar Goodson, argued unsuccessfully that Mosby's comments after filing charges against the officers were "reckless and unprofessional," and violated the rules of conduct. "
Williams also ruled against another motion, one seeking to have Mosby removed for what the defense contended were conflicts of interest. He called the assertion that Mosby's judgment was affected by the fact that her husband, Nick Mosby, is a councilman "troubling and condescending." "Being married to a councilman is not a reason for recusal," he said.
Williams added that allegations of prosecutorial misconduct would have to be addressed by the state Attorney Grievance Commission.
Prosecutors introduced two pieces of evidence yesterday: a police communication recorder of Sgt. Alicia White's dispatches on the day Gray was arrested, and the redacted statements White and officers Edward Nero, Garrett Miller and William Porter gave investigators. Those materials were placed under seal.
Nero, Miller, Porter and Goodson, as well as Lt. Brian Rice and White, face charges in Gray's death. All six are charged with second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. Rice, Porter and White also face manslaughter charges. Goodson faces an additional charge of second-degree "depraved-heart" murder.