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Pretrial rulings made in second Freddie Gray case


Pretrial hearings for the case against Officer Caesar R. Goodson, the driver of the van that carried Freddie Gray, and the second officer to be tried in relation to his death, began Wednesday. Officer Goodson faces the the most serious of the charges against the six officers being tried—second degree murder.

Judge Williams denied defense attorneys’ request to have the trial moved into another jurisdiction. Judge Williams also ruled that Officer William Porter, the first officer tried in Freddie Gray’s death, will be expected to testify against Officer Goodson despite the defense’s attempts to keep him off the stand before his own trial is settled. Officer Porter’s retrial has been scheduled for June, after the trials of the other six officers, after his case ended in a hung jury in December.

Judge Williams granted Officer Porter limited “use or derivative use” immunity, ruling that any information he gives in his testimony cannot be used against him in his trial in June, protecting his fifth amendment right against self-incrimination and making it impossible for Officer Porter to refuse to testify. Despite this limited immunity, Judge Williams acknowledges that this ruling is unprecedented.

Officer Porter’s defense attorneys appealed to Maryland’s second-highest court on Thursday, asking it to block the order forcing Porter to testify in his fellow officer’s case. On Friday, a Maryland judge issued a ruling that temporarily prevents Officer Porter from taking the stand until the Court of Appeals makes a decision on the defense’s appeal.

Also during pretrial hearings, two other cases were pushed back from their original hearing dates. Sgt. Alicia White’s trial, which was originally scheduled for January 25, has been moved to February 8. Officer Garrett Miller’s trial, which was originally set for February 9, has been pushed back to March 7.

Officer Goodson’s trial is set to begin Monday with jury selection.


The Greyhound will continue to cover the Freddie Gray hearings as information is made available.


The Baltimore Sun and Washington Times contributed to this post.


Photo from Flickr Creative Commons (Maryland National Guard).

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Pretrial rulings made in second Freddie Gray case