Prosecutors reveal for first time that Medical Examiner last year told investigators Gray’s injury was an accident
In what would be a shocking turn of events in any trial other than one brought by Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, state prosecutors have for the first time introduced into court evidence that medical examiner Carol Allan had at one point believed Gray’s death was an accident, reports the Baltimore Sun.
This disclosure was made on the fifth day of the “Freddie Gray” trial of van driver Officer Caesar Goodson, who is charged with depraved-heart murder among other charges in Freddie Gray’s death, and only after the lengthy previous “Freddie Gray” trials of Officer William Porter and Officer Edward Nero. Porter’s jury trial ended in a hung jury, and he is scheduled to be re-tried. Nero’s bench trial ended in an acquittal.
In her own testimony earlier this week Dr. Allan told the court that “The word ‘accident’ never crossed my lips to anyone, other than to say, ‘This is not an accident.'” Allan has claimed that she always believed Gray’s injury and death to have been a homicide, not an accident. Allan gave similar testimony in the prior Freddie Gray trials of Officers William Porter and Edward Nero.
Today, however, prosecutors introduced new evidence, for the first time, indicating that during a meeting with police investigators last year Allan had suggested that Gray’s death was an accident.
Trial Judge Barry Williams ruled that he would allow this new evidence to be admitted despite the fact that it was facially inadmissible. He made this remarkable decision in an effort to “fashion a remedy” for the fact that prosecutors have on numerous occasions concealed exculpatory evidence from the various “Freddie Gray” trial defense teams, despite a legal duty to disclose such exculpatory evidence in discovery.
After the most recent example of the state’s failure to disclose exculpatory evidence, made on the morning of the first day of the current trial of van driver Officer Caesar Goodson, Judge Williams ordered prosecutors to go back to their case files and search for any additional exculpatory evidence that should have been disclosed.
Presumably as a result of this effort, and the consequences the prosecutors might incur should yet another failure to disclose later be discovered, Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Sachtzow said that they had just come across the notes of Detective Dawnyell Taylor that record medical examiner Allan initially believing that Gray’s injury was an accident.
The “review” by prosecutors also revealed additional, but probably not as meaningful, failures to disclose other potentially exculpatory evidence, including conflicting statements from police officers that had interviewed Donte Allen, who had ridden in the van with Gray, as well as a proffer agreement that prosecutors had taken to a meeting with Allen (that meeting being the one not disclosed to prosecutors until the eve of this trial, and then only by Allen’s defense attorney rather than by prosecutors).
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