Court Hearing for Six Baltimore Cops Charged in Death of Black Man

BALTIMORE (AP) -

A Baltimore judge on Wednesday refused to dismiss charges against six police officers in connection with the death of a black man who had been seriously injured while in custody. The judge also refused to remove the prosecutor in the case that sparked riots in Baltimore last spring.

During a pretrial hearing, Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams denied a defense motion for the charges to be dropped against the officers in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who endured a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody on April 12 and died a week later. Gray’s death sparked protests, rioting and unrest that lasted for days.

Defense attorneys had sought to drop the charges — which range from second-degree assault to second-degree murder — because of prosecutorial misconduct on the part of State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. Williams, however, said that while Mosby’s public comments regarding initial statements made by the officers to investigators were “troubling,” they are not likely to prejudice a jury.

Williams also ruled against another defense motion, one that sought to have Mosby removed from the case due to what the defense contended were conflicts of interest.

He called the assertion that Mosby’s judgment was impacted by the fact that her husband, Nick Mosby, is a councilman in a district that experienced a disproportionate amount of violence “troubling and condescending.”

Officers Edward Nero, Garrett Miller, William Porter and Goodson, as well as Lt. Brian Rice and Sgt. Alicia White, face charges in Gray’s death. They did not attend the hearing.