Officer must testify against colleagues in Freddie Gray case

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Baltimore police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray must testify against his colleagues while he awaits a retrial, Maryland’s highest court ruled Tuesday.

The Court of Appeals did not give any reason for the decision, saying it would issue an opinion later. The case was unusual because Officer William Porter’s trial ended with a hung jury and as he was awaiting a retrial, a judge ruled he had to testify against some of the officers charged in the Gray case but not others.

The appeals court heard arguments over the issue last week and questioned Porter’s attorney about why he shouldn’t testify at multiple trials. Porter’s attorney said every time he took the stand it could subject the officer to a perjury charge.

Gray died in April, a week after his neck was broken in the back of a police transport van while he was handcuffed and shackled, but left unrestrained by a seat belt.

Porter testified at his trial and said he didn’t do anything wrong during Gray’s arrest. He told a jury that it was the van driver’s responsibility to make sure Gray was secured in a seat belt.

Porter was the first officer to stand trial, but the issue of whether Porter could be compelled to testify against his colleagues halted the other trials.

Tuesday’s rulings mean the cases will be sent back to a lower court and the trials can move forward.

The appeals court issued two rulings. The first ruling agreed with Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams’ decision to force Porter to testify against Sgt. Alicia White and Officer Caesar Goodson, all of whom face manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office charges. Goodson, the van driver, faces the most serious charge, second-degree murder.

A second order reversed Williams’ decision that Porter did not have to testify against officers Garrett Miller, Edward Nero and Lt. Brian Rice. They face misconduct in office, reckless endangerment and assault charges. Rice also faces a manslaughter charge.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of June 8

Here’s what to expect this week.

Curtis Davis sharpens a spike at his makeshift campsite near Juneau International Airport on Sunday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
With no official place to camp, homeless and neighborhoods alike are suffering miseries

Complaints to JPD nearly double, social agencies seek “safety zone,” many campers just want peace.

Alaska Supreme Court Justice Peter Maassen receives applause from his fellow justices and members of the Alaska Legislature during the annual State of the Judiciary address on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, at the Alaska State Capitol. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Gov. Dunleavy will be asked to pick fourth state Supreme Court justice

Applications being accepted to replace Peter Maassen, who reaches mandatory retirement age next year

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Monday, June 10, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Pins supporting the repeal of ranked choice voting are seen on April 20 at the Republican state convention in Anchorage. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska ranked choice repeal measure wins first round of legal challenge, but trial awaits

An Anchorage Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of a proposed… Continue reading

Juneau resident Ajah Rose Bishop, 21, suffered severe spinal injuries in a single-vehicle accident early Saturday morning. (GoFundMe fundraiser photo)
Woman breaks spine in single-vehicle collision on Egan Drive early Saturday morning

21-year-old Juneau resident medivaced to Anchorage, online fundraising effort underway.

Shannan Greene (left) and Sharyn Augustine hold signs on April 27 urging residents to sign recall petitions for Juneau Board of Education President Deedie Sorensen and Vice President Emil Mackey due to their roles in a budget crisis for the current fiscal year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
School board recall petitions submitted; supporters of Saturday cruise ship ban need more signatures

Third initiative seeking to repeal default by-mail elections also has 10 days to get more signers.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Sunday, June 9, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Saturday, June 8, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Most Read