Judge Rebukes Freddie Gray Prosecutors But Will Not Drop Charges Against 6 Baltimore Cops
A judge in Baltimore rebuked state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby on Wednesday for some of her public statements in the Freddie Gray case but denied motions to drop charges against the six city cops involved in the 25-year-old’s arrest and transport.
The judge, Barry Williams, also denied a defense motion asking for Mosby to recuse herself from the case.
Wednesday’s pre-trial hearing is the first court action in the Gray case. Gray was arrested on April 12 and sustained a head injury while riding in the back of police van. His death a week later touched off violent protests in Baltimore.
On May 1, days after the riots, Mosby publicly announced charges against the six officers ranging from misconduct to manslaughter to second-degree depraved-heart murder.
Attorneys for the six cops have filed motions to drop the charges and, in lieu of that, to have Mosby removed from the case. They have claimed that Mosby has numerous political and personal conflicts of interest and that she has used unnecessary rhetoric while publicly discussing the case.
According to the Baltimore Sun, an attorney for Caeser Goodson, Jr., the driver of Gray’s police van who faces the murder charge, said in court on Wednesday that Mosby’s public announcement of charges on May 1 “adopted and encouraged the public’s cry of ‘no justice, no peace.'”
“Her statements tainted the jury pool,” the attorney said.
Williams called some of Mosby’s comments “troubling” and stated that a public comment that she made about some officers giving statements to police was “inappropriate and you know it,” according to CBSBaltimore.
He also said that it was not Mosby’s job to calm the city after riots that occurred in Baltimore days before she announced charges. Mosby has previously taken credit for quelling the violent riots.
Williams was also critical of the defense. He said that its claims about Mosby’s conflicts of interest “didn’t come close” to requiring her to be removed from the case, The Sun reported. He also hit the defense on its “troubling and condescending” claim that Mosby’s husband’s position on the Baltimore city council created a conflict of interest.
Williams will also decide on Wednesday whether the six officers will be tried together or separately. The trial is tentatively scheduled for October.