A federal magistrate judge has ordered that discovery and depositions proceed in the malicious prosecution lawsuit brought by five of the officers charged in the Freddie Gray case against State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby.
Judge J. Mark Coulson wrote in an order Friday that Mosby plans to ask that proceedings be halted as she pursues an appeal of a judge's order that the case could go forward. Coulson said that request would be addressed "once ripe."
"I order that discovery will proceed in the interim," Coulson wrote, noting he had first consulted with the judge overseeing the case, U.S. District Court Judge Marvin J. Garbis. Coulson was asked by Garbis to oversee the discovery process.
The order calls for the discovery process to take place over the next 90 days, to be followed by depositions. The time frame for discovery is April 12, 2015, the date Gray suffered severe injuries in police custody, through May 1, 2015, the day the officers were charged.
Last month, Garbis allowed key parts of the lawsuit to move forward, including claims of malicious prosecution, defamation, and invasion of privacy. Also named as a defendant is Assistant Sheriff Samuel Cogen, who wrote the statement of probable cause for the officers' arrest.
Mosby and Cogen had asked that the lawsuit be dismissed.
In Coulson's order, he wrote that Cogen is not planning to join in Mosby's appeal of Garbis' decision.
Mosby's attorneys, with the Attorney General's Office, have argued that she has absolute prosecutorial immunity from actions taken as a state's attorney. But in his ruling Garbis said that in the Gray investigation, her office had acted as independent investigators and not simply prosecutors.
Gray, 25, suffered a broken spine while in police custody and died a week later. Mosby charged six officers involved in his arrest and transport with criminal counts including manslaughter and second-degree murder.
The charges alleged the arresting officers had no grounds to detain Gray, and that the others ignored department rules requiring them to secure him with a seat belt in the police van and seek prompt medical attention.
Officers Garrett Miller, Edward Nero, and William Porter, Sgt. Alicia White and Rice have sued Mosby and Cogen in federal court, alleging they knowingly brought false charges, which Mosby and Cogen deny.
Rice and Nero were acquitted by a judge in bench trials last year, along with Officer Caesar Goodson, who is not part of the lawsuit. In July, Mosby dropped the remaining charges against Miller, Porter and White.