BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Waiting for a decision. Will Officer William Porter face a retrial? He was the first of six officers to stand trial in the death of Freddie Gray. The mistrial may impact all the cases going forward.
WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren with the possibility Officer Porter could face a new trial.
Right now, we do not know whether prosecutors will retry Officer Porter. The charges against him remain active, although we’re not quite back at square one.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys met for less than half an hour behind closed doors in Judge Barry Williams’ chambers, but no date for a retrial of Officer William Porter has been set.
The prosecutor’s office has yet to even submit a request for a retrial.
The scheduling conference comes just one day after tensions flared outside the courthouse when Porter’s first trial ended with no verdict in a hung jury.
University of Maryland law professor Doug Colbert says this case is far from over.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of give and take in that backroom in terms of what’s going to happen next,” said Colbert.
What happens with Officer Porter will likely shift the trial dates of all of the other officers charged in connection with the case.
There are two likely options: retry Porter or offer him a deal to testify against Officer Caesar Goodson, Jr., who faces the most serious charges and was behind the wheel of the police wagon when Freddie Gray suffered the injuries that killed him.
“And it may well be that it’s in Officer Porter’s interest to explore a negotiation and a possible plea or grant of immunity,” said Colbert.
“We are confident there will be another trial,” said Richard Shipley, Freddie Gray’s stepfather.
Gray’s family is pushing for Porter to be retried.
“They want a just verdict. They want a verdict of some kind,” said Billy Murphy, Gray family attorney. “And so, they’re willing to wait for the retrial.”
It’s now strategy time for both sides, as Baltimore braces for what’s next.
As for prosecutors possibly using Officer Porter as a witness, they’re on record from this first trial as saying they believe he did not tell the truth. He remains suspended without pay.
Caesar Goodson’s trial is scheduled to start less than three weeks from now.