Judge’s ruling allows “Freddie Gray” trials of white officers to proceed without delay
Judge Barry Williams, the trial judge in the “Freddie Gray” cases, yesterday ruled that Officer William Porter is not required to testify against the three white officers charged in the case: Edward Nero, Garrett Miller, and Brian Rice, reports CNN.
Those officers were primarily involved in the initial arrest of Gray, and less so in his transport during which Gray would suffer his traumatic neck injury.
Judge Williams had previously ordered that Porter must testify in the trial of police van driver Caesar Goodson, despite the fact that Porter is awaiting a re-trial after his first “Freddie Gray” jury hung. That order is now under review by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the state’s intermediate appellate court, and Goodson’s trial has been put on hold until the issue is resolved.
The lawyers for the three white officers had argued that similar delays in their clients’ trials would have violated their right to a speedy trial. If so, such violation could lead to the outright dismissal of the charges against them.
It is unknown if this was a consideration in Judge Williams’ decision to relieve Porter of a legal obligation to testify in those cases.
Among the three white officers Nero’s trial is to begin soonest, on February 22.
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