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Cops awaiting trial in Freddie Gray case want charges dropped after Goodson acquittal

By Martin Smith
Cops awaiting trial in Freddie Gray case want charges dropped after Goodson acquittal
A small group of demonstrators protest after Baltimore City police officer Caesar Goodson was found innocent of all charges for his involvement in the Freddie Gray arrest and death, in Baltimore. Goodson was the driver for the transport van where Gray suffered his fatal spinal injury and later died on April 19, 2015. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

BALTMORE, Md., June 29 (UPI) -- Four Baltimore police officers awaiting trial in the death of Freddie Gray have filed motions to have their cases dismissed.

Lt. Brian Rice, Officer Garrett Miller, Sgt. Alicia White and Officer William Porter cited "defects" in the prosecution's case after two recent disclosures.

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Earlier this month, during the trial of another defendant, Officer Caesar Goodson, Baltimore police detective Dawnyell Taylor testified she was given a script by prosecutors to read to the grand jury that "had several things that I found to be inconsistent with our investigation."

In a separate case, a Baltimore sheriff's major said in an affidavit that he signed off on prosecutors' charges but didn't have adequate details of the investigation.

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"These defects occurred at both the District Court and Circuit Court levels and rise to a level which would violate Lt. Rice's rights of due process secured by the United States Constitution, as well as the Maryland Declaration of Rights," the filing in Rice's case read.

According to the motion, the officer who filed a statement of charges said in an affidavit that "he was simply presented a narrative by the State's Attorney's Office and, at most, retyped the narrative, signed it under oath and presented it for charges and arrest warrants for the six officers."

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The filings also noted that a Baltimore Sun report stated that "not only was a script given to the lead detective in this case to present to the grand jury, that script had material misrepresentations of fact contained within it. Further, it was reported that prosecutor Jan Bledsoe gave unsworn testimony before the grand jury."

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Multiple defects "rose to the level of prosecutorial misconduct and a violation of the officers' rights to due process," attorneys for Rice said.

The filings in the other three cases contain similar language.

Officer Edward Nero Goodson have been acquitted of charges related to Gray's death last April. The trial of Officer William Porter ended in a mistrial. He is scheduled to be retried Sept. 6.

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Gray, 25, died of injuries sustained in the back of a police van last April, leading to riots and looting across Baltimore and protests nationwide. Just days into the investigation into his death, Baltimore state's attorney Marilyn Mosby announced charges against the six officers.

The defendants have previously asked for dismissals on claims that the charges were politically motivated. This is the first time they've asked for dismissals citing wrongful prosecution.

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The three officers who have yet to be tried all face charges of manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. Rice, the highest-ranking officer charged in the case, is scheduled to begin trial on Tuesday.

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