BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The prosecution has rested in the trial of Officer Edward Nero. Nero is one of six officers facing charges in connection with the death of Freddie Gray. The closure in court comes after fellow Officer Garrett Miller was forced to take the stand as a witness.
Investigator Mike Hellgren has Miller’s testimony and the impact on the case.
This is unprecedented because Miller still faces criminal charges in the same case and prosecutors warned him he could be prosecuted for perjury or obstruction of justice if he didn’t tell the truth when he was called to the stand. One co-defendant we didn’t hear from: Officer William Porter.
Prosecutors rested their case against Officer Edward Nero after three days and more than a dozen witnesses, laying out their theory that Officer Nero assaulted Gray by assisting with his arrest and that his failure to secure him in a police van with a seatbelt was reckless endangerment.
“The prosecution’s saying that had the officers restrained Freddie Gray with seatbelts, that the injury would not have occurred,” said University of Maryland law professor Doug Colbert.
The trial made history with the testimony of Officer Garrett Miller. It’s the first time a co-defendant in a criminal case had to testify for the prosecution.
LEGAL EXPERT ADAM RUTHER HAS MORE ON HISTORY MADE:
“It was Officer Miller who testified unequivocally that Officer Nero never handcuffed Freddie Gray, nor did Officer Miller do anything to touch Freddie Gray during the detention stage,” said lawyer and courtroom observer Warren Alperstein.
Miller, Nero and Lt. Brian Rice were on bicycle patrol the day Gray was arrested. Rice made the initial call for help when Gray ran, and Miller says he never questioned the arrest, which prosecutors say was illegal and an assault. Miller also testified the responsibility for securing Gray in the van fell on the driver and not Officer Nero.
“Freddie’s dead and it wasn’t a good arrest. It wasn’t a good stop; there wasn’t a reason to chase him,” said Tessa Hill-Aston.
After the prosecution rested, the defense moved for an acquittal. The judge ruled at this point, there is enough evidence to continue. He’s expected to make a verdict this week.
We expect a verdict to come as early as Wednesday. The defense began Monday with an police expert, former Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo. He also testified for Officer William Porter.