What you need to know about the Freddie Gray hearings

Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the Freddie Gray case returned to court Thursday morning for a second pretrial motions hearing in the case.

What has happened so far?


Judge Barry Williams ruled against a defense motion to move the trials of the six police officers charged in Gray's arrest and death out of Baltimore. Williams, however, left open the possibility that the trials could be moved if an impartial jury panel can't be found.

The court will reconvene at 2 p.m. to discuss other issues. It was not immediately clear what those issues are.


What has happened since last week?

In the first pretrial hearing last Wednesday, Williams ordered that the six officers be tried separately. The ruling was one of three that Williams handed down. He also denied defense motions to dismiss charges against the officers and to recuse State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby's office from the case.

On Wednesday, a city spending panel unanimously approved a $6.4 million payout to Gray's family to settle the threat of a federal lawsuit. The payment is larger than the total of more than 120 other lawsuits brought against the police department for alleged brutality and misconduct since 2011.

Later Wednesday, Pastor Westley West of Faith Empowered Ministries was arrested in connection with last week's protests. He was charged with attempting to incite a riot, malicious destruction of property, disorderly conduct, disturbance of the peace, false imprisonment, and failure to obey, police said.

Is Thursday's hearing on TV?

No. Maryland's laws prohibit cameras and recording devices from court rooms.

How can I follow the proceedings?

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

Are protests going on?

The Baltimore People's Power Assembly, an organization known for its protests against alleged police brutality, started protesting outside the courhouse at 8:30 a.m., and many celebrated the judge's decision to keep the trials in the city. The group protested during last week's hearing, and it was largely peaceful, though police made one arrest.

How did we get to this point?

Gray, 25, was arrested on April 12 and suffered a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody. He died a week later. His funeral on April 27 was followed by citywide rioting, looting and arson. On May 1, Mosby announced criminal charges against the six officers from the stairs of the Baltimore War Memorial. Later that month, the six officers were indicted by a grand jury.


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 and misconduct in office.

Three officers, Officer William G. Porter, Lt. Brian W. Rice, and Sgt. Alicia D. White, face involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office charges. Officers Edward M. Nero and Garrett E. Miller are charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

All six officers have pleaded not guilty and will all be tried separately.

Are the officers attending the pretrial hearings?

No. All six officers have filed waivers of their right to appear.

Who is the judge?

Circuit Court Judge Barry Glenn Williams, 53. He has been an associate judge with the Baltimore City Circuit Court since December 2005. Williams holds a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Virginia and a law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law.

What happens next?

A trial date has been scheduled for Oct. 13, though that could change based on what happens in court.

Have any other questions? Let us know in the comments and we'll answer them as best as we can.

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