Updated: January 11, 2016, 1 PM
Caesar Goodson, one of six Baltimore officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, will not go to trial until an appeals court decides whether another officer involved in the case will be ordered to testify against him, reports BuzzFeed:
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals declared an indefinite delay in the trial of one of the police officers accused of killing Freddie Gray on Monday, saying the proceedings cannot go ahead until the judges decides whether another police officer also implicated in Gray’s death has to testify.
Jury selection for the trial of Officer Caesar Goodson, who stands accused of second-degree murder for his alleged treatment of Gray, was scheduled to start on Monday. Proceedings lasted less than a minute before Judge Barry Williams, of the Baltimore City Circuit Court, declared a recess as ordered by the Court of Special Appeals.
The issue at hand is whether Officer William Porter — whose trial for manslaughter in the Gray case ended in a hung jury late last year — can be compelled to testify against Goodson. The prosecution, led by State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, had asked Judge Williams to compel Porter to testify. Williams agreed, over Porter’s objections.
Porter’s testimony is paramount in the case, with prosecutors calling him a “key witness,” writes BuzzFeed.
Updated: January 8, 2016, 2:35 PM
Two days after a Baltimore judge ordered William Porter to testify at the upcoming trial of another Baltimore cop charged in the death of Freddie Gray, an appeals court judge reversed the decision, according to CNN:
A Maryland appeals court judge ruled Friday that Baltimore police Officer William Porter doesn’t need to testify — at least for now — in the trial of Officer Caesar Goodson. Both officers were charged in the death of Freddie Gray. Judge Peter Krauser’s order is temporary, until a final decision is made on Porter’s appeal of an earlier motion that he must testify in Goodson’s trial.
Baltimore Judge Barry G. Williams on Wednesday ordered Officer William Porter to testify at the impending trial of another Baltimore police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray, reports The Baltimore Sun.
Jury selection in the trial of Caesar R. Goodson is set to begin on Monday, reports the site. The 16-year veteran on the force faces the most serious charge of all the officers: second-degree depraved-heart murder.
Porter was the first of six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray to go to trial. While a mistrial was declared last month, the Sun notes that Porter “remains charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. He is scheduled to be retried in June.”
From The Sun:
Williams said he found himself in “uncharted territory” as he granted Porter a type of immunity that allows his charges to stand but which precludes his testimony from being used against him. Attorneys and legal observers agreed that such a ruling against a co-defendant was a first in Maryland.
Porter’s defense attorney Gary Proctor had argued that forcing Porter to testify at the trial of Officer Caesar Goodson would violate his state and federal constitutional rights that protect defendants against self-incrimination, and that he could be subjected to perjury charges or become exposed in a federal investigation.
Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow said Porter could not claim such protections once granted immunity.
All of the officers charged in Gray’s arrest and death have pleaded not guilty.
SOURCE: The Baltimore Sun | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty