One vote short of acquittal on manslaughter, but favored conviction on some lesser charges
The Baltimore Sun is reporting that the jury in the recently hung jury of Officer William Porter was one vote shy of acquittal on the most serious charge of manslaughter when they were finally dismissed in a mistrial, with 11 of 12 jurors voting for acquittal.
This information purportedly is sourced from one of the jurors who requested anonymity in order to avoid being held accountable for violating Judge Barry Williams’ gag order.
Similarly, on the next most serious charge of assault the jury was 8 to 2 in favor of acquittal with two jurors still undecided at the point the case was declared a mistrial.
On the lesser charges, however, there was reportedly a majority in favor of conviction, at least at the point when deliberations were halted.
On reckless endangerment, the jury was reportedly 7 to 3 in favor of conviction (two left undecided), and on misconduct in office the jury was 10 to 1 in favor of conviction (one left undecided).
Interestingly, The Baltimore Sun reports that their juror source told them “a few more jurors wanted to convict Porter of manslaughter at the start of the deliberations but later changed their minds.” One wonders if the same trend would have been observed with the other, lesser charges.
In related news, Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals (the state’s intermediate appellate court), which last week put ahold on trial Judge Barry Williams’ order that Officer William Porter could be compelled to testify, has now scheduled hearings on that issue for March 4.
Whether that means the trials of the remaining five officers to be tried (as well as Officer Porter’s retrial) will all be correspondingly delayed is uncertain, but prosecutors are clearly fully invested in obtaining Porter’s testimony for those trials.
Also, next Wednesday, January 20, Judge Barry Williams will reportedly hear argument from the defense counsel for Sergeant Alicia White asking him to strike down his prior order compelling Officer William Porter to testify against White in her trial.
The utility of that hearing given the Court of Special Appeals March 4 hearing on that very issue seems unclear.
Attorney Andrew Branca and his firm Law of Self Defense have been providing internationally-recognized expertise in American self-defense law for almost 20 years in the form of blogging, books, live seminars & online training (both accredited for CLE), public speaking engagements, and individualized legal consultation.
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