A trial date of October 13 has been set for the six officers charged with a plethora of felonies following the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody this past April, reports the Baltimore Sun. The same report notes that each of the officers has pleaded not guilty, and requested a jury trial.
Baltimore City Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams has been assigned to preside over the case. Warren Alperstein, an attorney representing the city’s bar association, characterized Williams as having a reputation for favoring neither the prosecution nor the defense, stating:
He is a no-nonsense, fair and practical judge who will no doubt control that courtroom, neither state- nor defense-oriented . . . He will not be persuaded by media. He will not be influenced by public sentiment. He will rule as the law will require him to do. Period. There will be no outside influences.
That would be refreshing, considering the high-profile basking in the limelight still ongoing by Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who today is given a fawning profile in Vogue magazine. The caption to her featured image in the Vogue article (photo taken by no less than Annie Liebowitz) reads ““The unrest had nothing to do with my decision to charge,” says Mosby. “I just followed where the facts led.”
These facts would, presumably, be the same facts Mosby continues relentlessly to deny the public.
The overall breathlessly fawning tone of the Vogue piece can be captured in just a few lines:
When Baltimore’s young prosecutor Marilyn Mosby filed charges against police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, she leaped onto the national stage—as heroine and lightning rod.
“I have heard your calls for ‘No justice, no peace,’ ” she said. “However, your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of Freddie Gray.”
Suddenly this young prosecutor who had served barely 100 days in office had become a national figure.
Far be it from me to suggest that this sudden thrust into the national spotlight might perhaps have been the primary motivating factor in Mosby bringing what increasingly appear to be ridiculously excessive charges based on the facts available.
Of course, the facts available are few and far between, solely because Mosby stubbornly refuses to release them. That, of course, presumes that she has any facts to support the charges she has levied against the officers.
Just last week Mosby again begged the court to muzzle defense counsel from sharing with the public the evidence, if any, against their clients, according to the Baltimore Sun, efforts local legal experts described as “bizarre.”
In an unusual Circuit Court filing this week, Mosby’s office requested a protective order barring defense attorneys for the six Baltimore police officers charged in Gray’s arrest and death from releasing any of the evidence due to them June 26 through court discovery, including Gray’s autopsy.
But outside legal observers said it was bizarre.
The State’s motion seeking to gag defense counsel is embedded at the bottom of this post.
In the meantime, defense counsel for the officers continue to try to have Mosby recused from the case, due largely to the blizzard of ethically questionable factors around her involvement in the case.
These include that the lawyer representing the family of “victim” Freddie Gray has also represented Mosby herself, as well as contributing to her election as State’s Attorney and participating in her transition team to that office.
In addition, the city district in which Freddie Gray was arrested is represented in city government by Mosby’s husband, and it has emerged that Mosby’s office itself had ordered heightened police activity in that very neighborhood shortly before Gray’s arrest. It has now been speculated that perhaps the extraordinary number and severity of the charges brought against the six officers was in part an effort to distract from Mosby’s own role in Gray’s arrest.
Further, the lead prosecutor in Mosby’s office is in a publicly acknowledged romantic relationship with the local news reporter who broke a claimed “exclusive interview with a key witness in the early days of the case, presumably helped along by a friendly tip.
And it goes on, and on, and on. The defense attorney’s motion requesting recusal and a change of venue out of the City of Baltimore, and a supplement to that motion, is also embedded at the bottom of the post.
To date, the State’s response to these motions for recusal has consisted largely of histrionics, again also embedded at the bottom of this post.
The bottom line: The State has yet to specify any particular factual details that support the felony charges against these officers. That is, Mosby’s office has yet to articulate exactly what action by each or any of the officers actually caused or criminally contributed to Freddie Gray’s death–with the sole exception of the State’s claim that Gray was not seat belted into the police van. On this single alleged breach of duty the State seeks to convict these six officers of charges as serious as murder and manslaughter.
Obviously we are not yet even at the end of the beginning of the circus that has come to be known as the “Freddie Gray case,” so keep an eye here at Legal Insurrection for breaking news.
As promised, here come the embedded documents:
State’s Motion for Protective [Gag] Order
Defense Motion for Removal of Mosby & Change of Venue
Defense Supplemental Motion for Removal of Mosby & Change of Venue
State’s Response to Motion to Remove Mosby & Change Venue
Note: This post has been updated to correct some typographical errors.
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