Prosecutors in Freddie Gray case seek to quash officers' subpoenas

Prosecutors want judge to reject subpoenas for records filed by officers charged in Freddie Gray's arrest

Prosecutors are seeking to quash subpoenas issued to several members of the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office by two officers charged with wrongfully arresting Freddie Gray, records show.

Defense attorneys for Officer Edward Nero — who is next to go to trial for the events surrounding Gray's arrest and death last April — and Officer Garrett Miller requested the appearance of several assistant state's attorneys at their trials.

The subpoenas included a request for all cases reviewed in the first six months of 2015 by the office's charging division, which evaluates cases brought by police and "makes decisions to release or charge offenders based on principles of law," according to the state's attorney's office's web site.

Hundreds of cases were reviewed and rejected during that period of time, according to police statistics.

Prosecutors wrote in their motion to quash the subpoenas that "evidence regarding six months of State's Attorney charging decisions would be completely irrelevant to the issues in this case."

"The jury will consider the reasonable-officer standard, not the reasonable-prosecutor standard, and the duties of a Baltimore police officer, not the duties of a Baltimore prosecutor," they wrote.

Nero and Miller are both charged with second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of misconduct, and have pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors maintain that the officers were not legally justified in making the arrest, and say loading Gray into the van "not only knowingly risked injury or death to Mr. Gray, but actually resulted in it."

Defense attorneys are prohibited from commenting on the case due to a gag order imposed by Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams. A motions hearing will be held Wednesday afternoon on prosecutors' request to have Miller compelled to testify at the trials of Nero, which begins May 10, and Lt. Brian Rice, which begins July 5.

Attorneys for the officers have previously attempted to cast a spotlight on prosecutors' decision-making and process of investigating the case, which have been rebuffed by Williams.

The court docket for Nero's case shows that motions continue to be filed under seal, with often no explanation about what the motions pertain to or why they must be withheld. Williams is set on the first date of Nero's trial to hear a motion to intervene filed by media outlets requesting increased transparency.

jfenton@baltsun.com

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