Officer Caesar R. Goodson pre-trial hearing: Day 1

In a pre-trial hearing, Baltimore Judge Barry G. Williams ruled on several motions ahead of the trial of Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr.

What happened:


» Williams ordered that Officer William Porter be compelled to testify at Goodson's trial.

» Porter's defense attorneys said they would immediately seek an injunction to block the order.


» Williams said he found himself in "uncharted territory" as he granted  a type of immunity that allows Porter's charges to stand but which precludes his testimony from being used against him.

» Attorneys and legal observers agreed that such a ruling against a co-defendant was a first in Maryland.

The theory that Freddie Gray may have been given a "rough ride" — or was purposefully tossed around the back of the police van in which he suffered a fatal spinal cord injury — has long been floated but never substantiated. Now it's come up in court.

Porter's testimony:

Porter's defense attorney Gary Proctor had argued that forcing Porter to testify at the trial of Officer Caesar Goodson would violate his state and federal constitutional rights that protect defendants against self-incrimination, and that he could be subjected to perjury charges or become exposed in a federal investigation.

Chief Deputy State's Attorney Michael Schatzow said Porter could not claim such protections once granted immunity.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys were scheduled to appear in a downtown courtroom this morning for a pretrial motions hearing in the case against Baltimore Police Officer Caesar R. Goodson, one of six officers charged in the April arrest and death of Freddie Gray.

Prosecutors have said Porter is a "material witness" against Goodson and Sgt. Alicia White, whose trial is scheduled for Jan. 25.

What's next?

Attorneys for Porter say they plan to appeal to the Court of Special Appeals on Thursday to block prosecutors from calling their client to testify at Goodson's trial.

When is Goodson's trial scheduled to begin?

Jury selection is scheduled for Monday.

What are the charges against the police officers?

Officer Caesar R. Goodson, the driver of the van used to transport Gray, is charged with second-degree depraved-heart murder, the most serious charge among the six officers. He also is charged with manslaughter, second-degree assault, two counts of vehicular manslaughter, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.


Lt. Brian W. Rice, and Sgt. Alicia D. White, face involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment charges. Rice also faces an additional count of misconduct in office.

Officers Edward M. Nero and Garrett E. Miller are charged with second-degree assault, and misconduct in office.

Porter remains charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of misconduct in office.

How can I follow the proceedings?

The Sun is hosting a live blog with updates throughout the proceedings.

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