The next trial of a Baltimore police officer in the death of Freddie Gray could begin as early as next month after a judge rejected a request from prosecutors that could have tied up the cases in the state appeals court indefinitely, the Baltimore Sun reports. Judge Barry Williams questioned prosecutors’ motives for asking him to compel officer William Porter to testify against all five of his fellow officers who are facing trial. Until then, they had said Porter was a witness against only two officers. Williams said prosecutors appeared to have a “dual purpose” for making their request — one being to stall the trials. He denied the motions.
Porter has been ordered by Williams to testify in the trials of officer Caesar Goodson and Sgt. Alice White, and Porter’s appeal to block that order is tied up in the Court of Special Appeals. That court will not hear his appeal until March, and could take months to decide. The trial of officer Edward Nero is scheduled for Feb. 22. Gray, 25, suffered a severe spinal cord injury in police custody last April. The six officers were charged May 1 and indicted by a grand jury the next month. Prosecutors’ plans were complicated last month when the jury in Porter’s trial was unable to reach a verdict on any of the four charges against him and Williams declared a mistrial.