The highest court in Maryland has agreed to hear appeals in the trials of five of the six Baltimore police officers charged in the Freddie Gray case, preventing any lower court proceedings from moving forward for the foreseeable future.
The Maryland attorney general’s office, representing the Baltimore state’s attorney’s office, had petitioned the Court of Appeals to bypass the lower-level appeals process and expedite a review regarding questions over whether Baltimore Police Officer William G. Porter can be compelled to testify against other officers while still facing his own charges.
Porter was ordered by Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams to testify in two of the officers’ cases — Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. Sgt. Alicia White — and Porter’s lawyers have been seeking to overturn the decision. In the three other cases — of Officers Edward Nero and Garrett Miller and Lt. Brian Rice — prosecutors failed to convince Williams that Porter is a necessary witness, and they are seeking to overturn that decision.
The Court of Appeals’ decision to take the cases means that all lower court proceedings — including the pre-trial motions hearing scheduled for Friday in Nero’s trial, which was set to begin Monday with jury selection — are canceled.