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Lawyers for the six officers facing criminal charges in the Freddie Gray case have filed papers to have the trial moved out of Baltimore, arguing they cannot get a “fair and impartial trial” in the city, according to the Baltimore Sun.

In an 85-page motion filed Wednesday, the legal team requests a change of venue, saying that “a presumption of prejudice” exists in the city, the report says.

Gray, 25, was arrested April 12 in West Baltimore and suffered a severed spinal cord and other injuries in police custody. His death a week later ignited national protests and rioting that prompted a curfew and a National Guard deployment, the report notes.

From the Baltimore Sun:

The case has drawn international attention and intense media coverage, and defense attorneys contend that not enough time has passed to permit “the type of healing and reconciliation in the community that would be needed to dampen the effects of the events surrounding the case.”

The attorneys also sought to contrast the Gray case with other high-profile trials that weren’t moved, including the case against the Boston marathon bomber. They argued that Baltimore City draws from a much smaller jury pool than those larger cities.

“Based on the relative size and characteristics of Baltimore City, the prejudicial information that has penetrated every form of online, printed and broadcast media, and the short time between the alleged crimes and the trial(s), the presumption of prejudice prevents the Officers in this case from receiving fair trials,” the attorneys wrote.

The state’s attorney’s office did not respond to a request from the Sun for comment on the filing, the report says.



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