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New date for Porter trial, June 13, entered into record after mistrial

Baltimore Police Officer William G. Porter enters a downtown courthouse during jury deliberations last week. Jurors remained deadlocked and Judge Barry Williams declared a mistrial in the case. Porter's retrial has been scheduled for June.
Baltimore Police Officer William G. Porter enters a downtown courthouse during jury deliberations last week. Jurors remained deadlocked and Judge Barry Williams declared a mistrial in the case. Porter's retrial has been scheduled for June. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

It's official: Officer William G. Porter's new trial in the death of Freddie Gray is set for June 13.

Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams declared a mistrial in Porter's first trial on Dec. 16, after a 12-member jury could not reach a consensus on any of the four charges against the Baltimore police officer.

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Porter is charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office in the death of Gray, 25, who died a week after sustaining a severe spinal cord injury in the back of a police van in April. Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced charges against Porter and five other officers on May 1. All have pleaded not guilty.

The court announced Porter's new trial date on Monday, after prosecutors met with Porter's attorneys in Williams' private chambers to discuss the rescheduling. The court also announced that the trial of Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr. — the van's driver, who faces second-degree murder in Gray's death — will proceed as scheduled on Jan. 6.

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However, the new date for Porter's trial still had to be officially read into the court record, which occurred in an administrative courtroom Tuesday morning. The proceeding, before Circuit Judge Alfred Nance, only lasted a few minutes.

"You plan to go forward with this as a retrial?" Nance asked.

"Yes, your honor," said Deputy State's Attorney Jan Bledsoe.

Bledsoe was joined by Chief Deputy State's Attorney Michael Schatzow. The pair argued the case before the jury in Porter's first trial.

Also there was Porter's attorney Joseph Murtha. Porter was not there, having waived his right to appear at the scheduling hearing.

Before the proceeding, Bledsoe and Schatzow chatted casually with Murtha.

Porter's trial date could change, or get canceled, between now and June depending on the outcomes of the other officers' trials, all of which are scheduled to occur in consecutive order between January and March.

Gray's death sparked widespread and largely peaceful protests against police brutality. His funeral was followed by a period of rioting, looting and arson — significanly raising the profile of the case.

The announcement of a mistrial in Porter's case was also followed by peaceful protests.

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