Attorneys for Baltimore Police Officer William Porter filed a brief in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals Tuesday, arguing once again the officer should not be forced to testify in the trials of fellow officers Caesar Goodson and Sgt. Alicia White.
Porter “is being used as a designated whipping boy,” his lawyers wrote. “The State does not shy away from saying that Porter committed perjury in his own trial, yet they continue to think that they can sponsor his testimony in the other officers’ cases, then prosecute him for manslaughter later. This cannot be.”
Porter was the first of six city officers to stand trial for the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray. His trial ended in a mistrial in December.
Goodson was scheduled to be the next officer to stand trial, but this legal battle, now before Maryland’s second-highest court, has delayed that trial as well as White’s trial.
Earlier this month, Judge Barry G. Williams ruled Wednesday afternoon Porter does not have to testify against Officers Garrett Miller and Edward Nero, and Lt. Brian Rice.
Porter’s defense team argued that in September, prosecutors said it was “imperative” that Porter be tried first.
“Implicitly, maybe even explicitly, the state acknowledged in this pleading that Porter had to go first in order that he not have a Fifth Amendment Privilege,” they wrote. “If the State truly believes that Porter can be called as a witness, with a pending manslaughter charge, why was it ‘imperative’ that Officer Porter proceed to trial first?”