UPDATE: We have additional information on the specific charges specified in the Grand Jury indictments, and how they differ from the charges announced by Prosecutor Mosby on May 1.

Here’s video of Mosby’s press statement on the charges, at which she took  no questions:

Clarification on changes to “false imprisonment” charges: Below we note that the “False imprisonment (8th Amendment)” charges are not present on a written list of the Grand Jury’s charges (embedded below), and we speculate that this may be an implicit concession that the arrest of Gray was lawful.

Shortly thereafter I were provided with the video of Mosby reading the charges, above. In the video the “False imprisonment” charges she specified in her May 1 allegations against the officers are also gone. It seems however, based on her verbal reading, that she has replaced that “False imprisonment (8th Amendment)” charge with a “Misconduct in office for illegal arrest (8th Amendment)”.

It’s unclear if this represents a substantive alteration in the charges.

For purposes of transparency I’ll leave my earlier speculation intact below, but flag it with reference to this clarification.

The officers are now scheduled to be arraigned on July 2, according to Mosby’s read press statement.

Here’s that written list of the Grand Jury’s charges:

GJ Indictment charges

 

Here’s a press release from Mosby’s office that confirms the accuracy of the above.

I note the press release now indicates that each of the “8th Amendment” charges above can be punished by any sentence short of cruel and unusual punishment–so, presumably, even life in prison or capital punishment, if Maryland does capital punishment.

Lt. Brian W. Rice (arresting officer)

Grand Jury charges:

  • Manslaughter (involuntary) (10 years)
  • Assault/second degree (10 years)
  • Misconduct in office (8th Amendment)
  • Misconduct in office (8th Amendment)
  • Reckless endangerment (5 years)

(Note “Clarification on changes to false imprisonment charges,” above.)

Mosby’s May 1 charges had also included “False imprisonment (8th Amendment)”, and that has been dropped.  I see this as an implicit concession that Gray’s arrest was lawful, for the reasons we’ve previously espoused here Freddie Gray Case: Prosecutor Doubles Down On Wrong Law and here Confirmed – Freddie Gray’s Knife WAS Illegal and here Freddie Gray’s Knife – Why is Prosecutor Claiming Unlawful Arrest?

Similarly, every one of the officers who was charged with “False imprisonment” by Mosby on May 1–meaning Rice, Nero, and Miller, the three arresting officers–has had that charge dropped by the Grand Jury.

In its place has been added “Reckless endangerment (5 years), which I interpret as Mosby’s new “safe charge”–that is, the charge on which she hopes to get a conviction even after her case otherwise implodes for lack of evidence.

It is notable that this “Reckless endangerment (5 years) has been added as a charge against each and every one of the six officers, none of whom were previously charged with this offense.

Also, Mosby’s May 1 had two counts of “Assault/second degree (10 years), whereas the Grand Jury indictment specifies only one. Consolidated? Who knows, given the utter lack of transparency by Mosby’s office.

Officer Edward M. Nero (arresting officer)

Grand Jury charges:

  • Assault/second degree (10 years)
  • Misconduct in office (8th Amendment)
  • Misconduct in office (8th Amendment)
  • Reckless endangerment (5 years)

As with Rice, Mosby has dropped the “False imprisonment” charge against Nero, and the “Reckless endangerment” charge added. (Note “Clarification on changes to false imprisonment charges,” above.)

Officer Garrett E. Miller (arresting officer)

Grand Jury charges:

  • Assault/second degree (10 years)
  • Misconduct in office (8th Amendment)
  • Misconduct in office (8th Amendment)
  • Reckless endangerment (5 years)

Again, Mosby has dropped the “False imprisonment” charge against Miller, and the “Reckless endangerment” charge added. (Note “Clarification on false imprisonment charges,” above.)

Sergeant Alicia D. White

Grand Jury charges:

  • Manslaughter (involuntary) (10 years)
  • Assault/second degree (10 years)
  • Misconduct in office (8th Amendment)
  • Reckless endangerment (5 years)

In White’s case the Grand Jury simply added the “Reckless endangerment” charge to Mosby’s May 1 charges.

Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr. (van driver)

Grand Jury charges:

  • Second-degree depraved-heart murder (30 years)
  • Manslaughter (involuntary) (10 years)
  • Assault/second degree (10 years)
  • Manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence) (10 years)
  • Manslaughter by vehicle (criminal negligence) (3 years)
  • Misconduct in office (8th Amendment)
  • Reckless endangerment (5 years)

In Goodson’s case the Grand Jury simply added the “Reckless endangerment” charge to Mosby’s May 1 charges.

Officer William G. Porter

Grand Jury charges:

  • Manslaughter (involuntary) (10 years)
  • Assault/second degree (10 years)
  • Misconduct in office (8th Amendment)
  • Reckless endangerment (5 years)

In Porter’s case the Grand Jury simply added the “Reckless endangerment” charge to Mosby’s May 1 charges.

And that’s it for this update.


And in today’s totally predictable news category, NBC is reporting that a Baltimore Grand Jury has issued indictments against the officers criminally charged in the death of Freddie Gray.

In what NBC describes as a “hasty” news conference, Prosecutor Mosby read off the charges handed down by the grand jury.  They report that some of the grand jury charges are more severe than those she initially read to the press on May 1, but as yet details are few.

Mosby provided no explanation of the new charges, nor did she take any questions.  Transparency, what?

Given that the Grand Jury only hears evidence from the prosecution, it comes as no surprise that they would issue the indictments requested by the prosecution.

We’ll update as new information comes in, especially if we get our hands on the actual indictments, so keep an eye out for that.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


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Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He also holds Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and provides free online self-defense law video lectures at the Law of Self Defense Institute and podcasts through iTunes, Stitcher, and elsewhere.