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Jury begins deliberations in trial of officer assault case

AssaultLaw EnforcementJustice System

Jurors began deliberations Friday in the trial of two Baltimore police officers accused of assaulting a man during a 2011 drug arrest in which the suspect attempted to hide in the home of one officer's girlfriend.

Sgt. Marinos N. Gialamas and Officer Anthony Williams were charged after the drug arrest of Antoine Douglas Green, who police said ran from officers and broke into the home of Williams' girlfriend in the 2200 block of Prentiss Place in East Baltimore.

Prosecutors said Green was assaulted by officers in the kitchen after he was brought back into the home in handcuffs. It happened after Williams, who was off-duty at the time, came to the home and spoke with Gialamas, the supervisor at the scene, prosecutors said.

The state later dropped drug, assault and burglary charges filed against Green.

Gialamas, 41, a 19-year veteran, is accused of second-degree assault and three counts of misconduct, while Williams, 38, a six-year veteran, was charged with obstructing and hindering an investigation, as well as assault.

"They used their power and authority to take a handcuffed suspect inside a house … and strike him," said Assistant State's Attorney Paul Pineau during closing arguments Friday morning.

Gialamas' attorney, Catherine Flynn, argued that jurors should not take the word of one man over multiple officers at the home. She said there's no reason they would be put their careers at risk for Williams, whom they did not know.

"You have to believe Sergeant Gialamas conspired with a total stranger to beat up Mr. Green, putting his squad at risk, civilians at risk, himself at risk, all so Mr. Williams could beat up Mr. Green. Is any of that believable?" Flynn said to jurors.

Assistant State's Attorney Kevin Wiggins said the officers might not have known each other but that wouldn't prevent Gialamas from agreeing to help Williams.

"They're not strangers. … They're a family," Wiggins said. "Don't believe that they are strangers."

He said Williams clearly was upset about the situation. "Is it a coincidence that once he showed up, all hell broke lose?"

Prosecutors said Gialamas had Green brought back into the home after he had been placed inside a police vehicle. They pointed to inconsistencies in several officers' reports as to why Green was brought back inside the home.

One reason that was given, according to prosecutors, was to allow the witness — Williams' girlfriend — to positively identify Green as the man who broke into her home.

Pineau said Williams interfered in an internal affairs investigation into the incident by instructing his girlfriend to lie to a detective.

Williams, who was on the stand briefly Friday morning, told a prosector he went to the home out of concern for his girlfriend: "I was upset, sir, but not to the point where I would jeopardize my career. I was just there. I don't feel as though I did anything wrong."

Both Flynn and Williams' attorney, Donald Daneman, argued the state had done little to prove the injuries Green had came from the officers.

Flynn said Green's injuries were consistent with someone who had been running from police and caught themselves on a fence and kicked in a door.

jkanderson@baltsun.com

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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