Maryland top court orders police officer to testify in Freddy Gray Case
Mar 08, 2016 10:30 PM EST
On Tuesday, Maryland's highest court ordered Baltimore police officer William G. Porter to testify against his five colleagues charged over the death of Freddie Gray in 2015.
The Mary Land Court of Appeals denied Officer Porter's request that he not be compelled to testify at the trials of Sgt. Alicia D. White and Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr. Baltimore Sun reported that Circuit Justice Barry G. Williams reversed an order that denied the prosecutors' request to call Porter to testify against three other officers, Lt. Brian W. Rice, Garrett E. Miller, and Edward M. Nero.
According to Reuters, Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera signed the order and sent the cases back to Baltimore City Circuit Court for trial. Judge Barbera added that an explanation would follow in an opinion to be filed soon.
The rulings made by the court allows for the recommencement of the officers' trials, which was placed on hold since January. Terri Charles, a judiciary spokesman said that Lt. Rice's trial is scheduled for April 13 but noted that the date could change, and it will be up to the court to set a date for the remaining trials.
Freddie Gray, 25, died last April 19, 2015, from a neck injury suffered in police custody. The Atlantic said that he was put in a van and about an hour later, by the time he was removed from the van, his spine was nearly severed. Gray was in a coma for a week and eventually died. His death sparked protests, rioting, and spurred a US debate on police approach to minorities.
A Baltimore Defense lawyer who is closely following Gray's case, Warren Alperstein, said the decision was a clear victory for prosecutors but that the issue may not be resolved. Alperstein said this case could probably move up to the Supreme Court.
The testimony of Porter may not be used against him in his own retrial. Porter and the other five officers have pleaded not guilty.