Early Court Loss for Police in Freddie Gray Murder Trial

     BALTIMORE (CN) – A judge rejected claims Wednesday that the prosecutor tainted the jury pool for the trial of six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray.
     In addition to refusing to recuse State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, Judge Barry Williams with the Baltimore City Circuit Court declined a motion to dismiss the charges against the officers.
     Gray, 25, died a week after suffering a spinal-cord injury during his arrest on April 12. Video of the arrest shot by a bystander shows Gray dragging his feet while police put him in a van.
     Caesar Goodson Jr., the police officer who drove that van, is charged with second-degree, depraved-heart murder.
     Sgt. Alicia White, Lt. Brian W. Rice and Officer William Porter are charged with manslaughter, and officers Edward Nero and Garrett Miller are charged with crimes including second-degree assault.
     Goodson’s defense attorney Andrew Graham argued that Mosby “adopted and encouraged the public’s cry of ‘no justice, no peace,'” when she announced the charges against his client and the other officers on May 1.
     The officers have all pleaded not guilty. They waived their rights to attend Wednesday’s hearing.
     Though Mosby was present at the prosecutor’s table during today’s hearing, she did not address the court.
     Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow meanwhile urged the court to consider the words Mosby’s spoke and not the defense’s “distortion of what she said.”
     Catherine Flynn, a defense attorney for Miller, told the court to recuse Mosby since she was the one who called for stepped-up law enforcement in the neighborhood where the defendant officers stopped Gray.
     Gray’s funeral on April 28 set of riots in the streets of Baltimore, causing damages to more than 400 businesses, including the burning of a CVS Pharmacy.
     At least 100 police officers were injured during the riots.
     Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake instituted a 10 p.m. curfew on the morning after the riots, and Gov. Larry Hogan called in the National Guard to help keep the peace.
     Police and court staff were well prepared for today’s proceedings, having set up barriers near the courthouse and around the adjacent City Hall Park.
     Judge Williams is slated later today to hear a third motion from the officers. This motion concerns whether the officers should be tried together or separately.
     On Sept. 10, the court will consider yet another motion to move the trial from Baltimore to another venue outside the city.

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