Porter testimony on hold for now

Posted at 1:10 PM, Jan 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-08 17:39:07-05

The order compelling Baltimore Police Officer William Porter to testify in Officer Caesar Goodson’s upcoming second degree murder trial has been put on hold, at least temporarily.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals made the ruling Friday morning, a day after lawyers for Porter filed an injunction to stop him from being forced to testify.

Chief Judge Peter B. Krauser said the hold is pending a decision by the appeals court, “because the State has not yet had an opportunity to respond to this 38-page motion that was filed just 24 hours ago, and because the trial in this matter is to commence shortly.”

RELATED: Porter appeals order to testify

Porter and Goodson are two of six Baltimore officers charged in the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray. Goodson’s trial is scheduled to begin next week; Porter’s trial ended in a mistrial last month, and his second trial is scheduled for June.  

Attorney General Brian E. Frosh and Assistant Attorney General Carrie J. Williams filed a response Friday afternoon, arguing that the court should deny Porter's motion. 

"Not only is Porter's request contrary to ordinary appellate procedure, but the lower court is better equipped to decide whether the order compelling Porter to testify should be stayed pending the appeal because it is familiar with the facts of this case and the attendant issues surrounding the trial," they argued.

Frosh and Williams also argued Porter "does not even attempt to meet his burden for receiving an injunction," and that keeping him from testifying harms prosecutors' abilities to prosecute Goodson.

"The State has one opportunity to try Goodson," the attorneys wrote. "If the State is enjoined from calling Porter as a witness at the time of Goodson's trial, there is no remedy."  

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