Prosecutors in Freddie Gray case say defense isn't entitled to internal investigation records

Prosecutors in Freddie Gray case say defense not entitled to internal investigation records

Prosecutors in the Freddie Gray case say defense attorneys are not legally entitled to records from their investigation of his death, and have provided no compelling reason why they should receive them.

Attorneys for the six police officers charged in Gray's death are asking a judge for a subpoena to compel the office of State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby to hand over the records.

In a new court filing, prosecutors said such an order "clearly intrudes on privileged work-product and executive branch deliberative processes" that occurred within Mosby's office during the investigation, and could compromise the case.

Gray, 25, died in April after suffering a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody. His death sparked protests against police brutality. On the day of his funeral, the city broke out in riots, looting and arson.

Mosby received the results of a police investigation of Gray's death on April 30 and announced charges against the officers the next morning. She said her prosecutors, in collaboration with the Baltimore sheriff's office, had conducted a "parallel" investigation of their own, working "around the clock — 12- and 14-hour days" — to interview dozens of witnesses, watch hours of video footage, listen to hours of police videotaped statements, survey the route of the police van in which Gray was injured and review medical records.

The officers face charges ranging from misconduct in office to second-degree murder. All have pleaded not guilty. Trials are scheduled for October.

Mosby's office delivered evidence in the case to the defense late last month.

The officers' attorneys said this month that they had received no evidence from Mosby's investigation, and asked a judge to force her office to hand over documents including witness statements, emails, voice mails, text messages and other communications between Mosby's office and law enforcement agencies including the sheriff's office, Baltimore police and the office of the chief medical examiner.

They also asked for communications between Mosby's office and the offices of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and attorney William "Billy" Murphy Jr., who is representing the Gray family. They say they believe all of the records "will be relevant and necessary to the defense in this case."

They asked that the subpoena require the evidence be turned over by Friday.

In their response, filed late last week, prosecutors said all the evidence from Mosby's investigation to which the defense is entitled was handed over last month as part of the discovery process.

The defense request for internal records, the prosecutors said, constituted "an abuse of the subpoena power" granted to them as officers of the court.

"In addition to the Defendants' open abuse of this Court's compulsory process — whether characterized as an impermissible fishing expedition or a bad-faith attempt to burden the State with duplicating discovery — the Defendants' improper request for information reaches wildly beyond the scope of authorized production" of evidence," the prosecutors wrote.

Catherine Flynn, the attorney who filed the subpoena request on behalf of the officers, could not be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for Mosby's office did not respond to a request for comment.

krector@baltsun.com

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