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Crime

May trial date scheduled for Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s federal case

A federal trial for Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has been scheduled for May 2.

U.S. District Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby chose that date for a jury trial following a status conference with Mosby’s lawyers and federal prosecutors Wednesday morning.

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Griggsby subsequently issued an order laying out deadlines for the attorneys to file and respond to pretrial motions and raise trial-related issues. The first court date ahead of the trial is slated for April 14.

Mosby faces charges of perjury and making false statements on loan applications to buy a pair of properties in Florida. She was indicted Jan. 13.

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According to her indictment, Mosby made two withdrawals totaling $81,000 from her retirement savings account early and sans penalty under the federal CARES Act by claiming she suffered financially because of the coronavirus pandemic. Federal prosecutors contend Mosby experienced no hardship, and cited a salary increase. Mosby makes almost $248,000 a year.

Mosby allegedly used the withdrawals for down payments on an eight-bedroom house near Orlando, Florida, and a condo on the state’s Gulf Coast, according to the indictment. Prosecutors say she lied on mortgage paperwork for the properties by not disclosing a $45,000 tax lien and declaring the house near Disney World was slated to be a second home when she planned for it to be a vacation rental.

In a joint status report filed with Mosby’s attorneys Friday, federal prosecutors said they anticipate a four-day trial. Prosecutors estimate they will call 15 witnesses; Mosby’s defense expects to call five to 10 witnesses.

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Mosby’s lawyers had asked for a trial date no later than April, citing the forthcoming election for state’s attorney. The primary is June 28.

Although the two-term incumbent Democrat has not officially filed to retain her office, candidates have until March 22 to file following a one-month deadline extension issued by the Maryland Court of Appeals. Defense attorneys Ivan Bates and Roya Hanna have entered their names in the primary race, according to the state Board of Elections.

The scheduling of a trial date does not preclude a resolution before trial, like a plea agreement; prosecutors and defense attorneys can strike a deal at any point before a trial.

Mosby’s lawyers have already filed a flurry of legal papers, including one presenting a far-fetched argument to have the indictment dismissed because of “prosecutorial vindictiveness” on behalf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The defense lawyers accused Maryland U.S. Attorney Erek Barron and Leo Wise, the assistant U.S. attorney leading the prosecution, of harboring animosity toward Mosby.

In separate motions, Mosby lawyers asked Griggsby to disqualify Wise from prosecuting Mosby and demanded the government provide more information about its allegations. The defense said prosecutors failed to show that Mosby did not qualify for CARES Act withdrawals or that Mosby knew about the tax lien.

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Mosby’s husband, Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby, said he did not tell Marilyn about the tax lien until after she signed the mortgage documents, according to an affidavit cited in a Feb. 18, 2021, letter from Mosby’s attorney. Excerpts of the affidavit appear in a package of documents attached to the defense’s request for Griggsby to throw out the case.

The government has until March 11 to respond to the motions from Mosby’s defense. Griggsby could hear arguments from the attorneys April 14 at a motions hearing and status conference at the U.S. District Court in Baltimore.


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