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The case against six Baltimore police officers charged in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray has its first trial date set for Nov. 30, and the other trials are set for early next year.On Tuesday Judge Barry Williams decided that Officer William Porter, one of three officers to check on Gray after he was put in a police van, will stand trial first.

Porter faces charges of manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office due to accusations of failing to provide or request medical care for Gray and not securing him safely in a van.  Prosecutors fully intend to call Porter as a witness against at least two of the other officers, including the van driver and sergeant who checked on Gray after he was put inside the van.

Earlier this month the judge ruled that each officer will get his or her own trial and that they will be held in the city. On Tuesday five of the six officers (minus Porter) appeared in court for the first time in their case.

The judge rejected their request earlier this month, from the officer’s attorneys to relocate the trial however he kept the door open to re-evaluate his decision should the state and defense run into problems seating a jury.  Goodson, the van driver, will be tried Jan. 6 and Sgt. Alicia White’s trial will begin Jan. 25.

Officers Garrett Miller and Edward Nero are looking at misdemeanor assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment charges, as does Lt. Brian Rice, who also faces a manslaughter charge. Their trials will be held in February and March.

Prosecutors asked that Miller and Nero be tried before Rice, which suggests that they could call the officers to testify against each other.  Even though each officer will get his or her own trial, the order in which the officers will be tried is significant.

Porter, Goodson and White were primarily involved in Gray’s transport and according to charging documents they failed to render aid to Gray once he’d been placed into the police transport van.  Also according to the charging documents the van made several stops during which White, Porter and Goodson checked on Gray, but did not call a medic.

Miller, Nero and Rice were the officers who had initial contact with Gray, spotting him near the Gilmor Homes, chasing him and finally putting him in handcuffs as well as leg restraints before placing him inside the transport van.

 

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