News

Actions

What's next for Officer Porter?

Posted: 11:28 PM, Dec 17, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-18 06:14:56-05

Attorneys for Officer William Porter met with prosecutors and Judge Barry Williams on Thursday, but so far they have not released any information on whether there will be another trial.

Officer porter's first trial ended Wednesday in a mistrial, when jurors told the judge they were hopelessly deadlocked.

All of the attorneys -- prosecutors Janice Bledsoe and Michael Schatzow, along with Gary Proctor and Joe Murtha for the defense -- are still under a gag order, so they did not comment.

See also: No retrial date scheduled yet

They met in the chambers of Judge Barry Williams to talk about what comes next.

The first decisions must be made by the prosecutors -- will they decide to re-try Officer Porter?  And if they do, when would that trial happen?

The next trial, of the van's driver, Officer Caesar Goodson, is already scheduled to start on January 6th, less than three weeks from now.

In that trial prosecutors are depending on Officer Porter to testify that he told Goodson that Freddie Gray needed medical help.

But the mistrial means that Officer Porter is still a defendant, and therefore has the right to refuse to testify if it would incriminate himself.

“He has that privilege because he's a defendant, pending a trial, therefore officer porter is taken out of the mix,” said local attorney Warren Alperstein, who has been following the trial.

So if the state still wants to try Officer Porter before Officer Goodson, all of the trials might have to be moved back.

That, according to Alperstein, would be easier said than done.

“You can bet that all the other attorneys including Goodson's attorneys are going to argue well we shouldn't have our cases postponed just so the state's desires can be accommodated by the court to keep Officer Porter first in line,” he said.

Another option would be to drop the charges against Officer Porter, and keep the other five trials in place as scheduled.

Then Porter could be called to testify, but the four criminal charges he was nearly convicted on this week would be wiped away.

“The state has suffered a significant setback right now,” Alperstein said.

For more information on the Freddie Gray trials, click here