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Evidence in Freddie Gray case is vast and varied

All six officers in Freddie Gray case gave statements to investigators — and two spoke twice

Prosecutors have turned over a vast trove of evidence to lawyers representing six police officers accused in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, including about 8,000 pages of the officers' emails, 44 surveillance videos and more than a dozen statements by civilians.

The officers' attorneys now have the job of wading through the evidence, which prosecutors estimated amounts to 52 gigabytes of digital files. An itemized evidence list was included in documents prosecutors filed Friday.

Gray, 25, suffered a fatal neck injury while being transported in a police van after his arrest on April 12. A medical examiner ruled his death a week later a homicide, and Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., the driver of the van, is accused of second-degree murder.

Sgt. Alicia D. White, Lt. Brian W. Rice and Officer William G. Porter face manslaughter charges. Officers Edward M. Nero and Garrett E. Miller, who were involved in the initial stop of Gray, are accused of lesser offenses.

All of the officers have pleaded not guilty, and a trial is scheduled for October.

The early stages of the case have been marked by prosecutors and defense attorneys sparring in court filings over issues such as whether to hold the trial in Baltimore and whether the charges should be thrown out because of alleged misconduct by prosecutors. Turning over the initial batch of evidence moves the case into a new phase.

Thomas Maronick, Jr., a Baltimore defense attorney not involved in the case, said searching through discovery is like going on a treasure hunt for information that might sow doubt in the mind of a jury.

"You look for buried gems," he said. "What you're looking for is either something that the state's attorney overlooked that you can use to your advantage, or something they buried among the stack."

Maronick said the volume of records in Gray's death is much larger than a typical city murder case.

The evidence list includes:

•Statements made by 15 civilian witnesses.

•44 closed-circuit television videos and four cellphone videos.

•Photographs of a knife.

•Images of suspected blood found in the back of a police van.

•More than 8,000 pages of the accused officers' emails.

•Two binders detailing the Baltimore Police Department's investigation.

•Gray's autopsy report and photographs.

•Cellphone data connected to four of the officers.

The defense also received a list of 32 state's witnesses, including detectives, doctors and civilians. Among them is Kevin Moore, a West Baltimore resident who filmed part of Gray's arrest, helping to draw national media attention to the case.

The evidence itself is not included in public court files, and prosecutors have asked Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams, who is presiding over the case, to impose a protective order that would prevent defense lawyers from sharing the evidence publicly. Williams has yet to rule.

Attorneys for the six officers either could not be immediately reached or declined to comment.

The evidence list also indicates that statements by all six officers have been turned over, but the extent of any interviews they gave is unclear. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has publicly expressed frustration with one officer who did not initially talk, and police previously said that Goodson had not given an initial statement. The evidence list indicates he gave two statements, though not what he said.

The officers' interviews could shape the case. Prosecutors last week asked the judge to divide the defendants into a group of four and a group of two. Legal analysts have said the move could be designed so that prosecutors can use the statements of one officer against another.

The autopsy report, obtained by The Baltimore Sun, shows Gray suffered a "high-energy injury" while in the van. It is likely to be key evidence in the case, and the conclusions of the examiner could be challenged by the defense lawyers. A medical examiner ruled the death a homicide and said it could not be considered an accident because of officers' failure to act.

The evidence list includes "knife photos" but is not specific. Some of the defense attorneys mounted an early battle over a knife Gray was alleged to have been carrying when he was stopped, arguing that prosecutors were wrong to declare it legal. The pictures could help put an end to that dispute.

iduncan@baltsun.com

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