In Unusual Move, Ferguson Officer Wilson Testifies To Grand Jury


Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson testified for almost four hours in front of the St. Louis County grand jury investigating his shooting Aug. 9 of Michael Brown, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Wilson was not obligated to appear, and also has spoken with St. Louis County investigators twice and federal investigators once. A source said Wilson was “cooperative.” Defense attorney John Rogers, who is not involved in this case, said, “It's unusual but not unheard of for a prosecutor to extend an invitation” for the target of an investigation to testify to a grand jury. He said he had rarely allowed it.

Witnesses cannot take their attorneys inside the grand jury room, although the witnesses may interrupt the proceedings to go outside for a consultation. “You don't always want to preview what your defense would be at such an early stage,” Rogers said. “I would only consider allowing my client to testify at a grand jury proceeding if I was convinced that the prosecutor presenting the evidence to the (grand jury) was convinced that his testimony would help them reach the decision not to indict.” Attorney Chet Pleban, who is not part of this case but has represented accused police officers, said that sworn grand jury testimony could be used in any state or federal prosecution, potentially exposing the witness to damaging questions. “The problem in this case is, one way or the other, his story had to be told in order for this grand jury to know what was in his mind,” Pleban said. “And I don't know any way to accomplish that other than to have him testify.”

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