BALTIMORE (WJZ) — New developments over the death of Freddie Gray. Baltimore police have announced sweeping changes, as the major players in the prosecution look to their next move in court.
The landmark first verdict is having a big impact more than one year after Gray died from spinal injuries suffered while in police custody.
WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren has more on the impact of this first verdict, and the unanswered questions that remain with the next trial rapidly approaching.
While the criminal case against Officer Nero has been resolved, the verdict Monday has raised some big questions about what’s next in the five remaining trials, and how big a blow the prosecution suffered.
Now that Officer Nero has been acquitted for his involvement in Freddie Gray’s case, what’s next? All sides will review strategy, what worked and what didn’t, in the Nero case. They will look closely at Judge Barry Williams’ opinion. Experts say it’s narrowly written and doesn’t delve much into the remaining defendants.
“It really shed very little light on how he would rule in the other cases,” said David Jaros, University of Baltimore.
“They’re going to be some very dark nights ahead for the prosecutor’s office, and I don’t know if they’ll be seeing any light at the end of this tunnel,” said J. Wyndal Gordon, lawyer and courtroom observer.
Prosecutors could ask for a new judge, which could be a difficult battle to win.
“Whether to grant the state’s request under those circumstances is entirely up to Judge Williams,” said Adam Ruther, Rosenberg, Martin, Greenberg.
The first of five more trials is scheduled to begin n June 6, with Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., the van driver, who faces the most serious charge — second-degree depraved heart murder.
Unlike Officer Nero, Goodson is charged for his involvement in Gray’s death. Experts say it’s likely he will request a jury trial.
“Some things were said to make me feel that the next cases might be done differently,” said Tessa Hill-Aston, Baltimore NAACP president.
Goodson’s legal team has filed a number of motions, asking the court to dismiss the indictment for violation of his speedy trial rights. He wants part of Gray autopsy thrown out, too. He’s also challenging any testimony from his co-defendant, Officer William Porter.
Officer Nero’s father, who was swarmed by protestors on Monday, says in a new interview there’s a long road ahead for everyone.
“He has five other officers that are his fellow brothers that have to go through the same thing, and theirs is yet to come,” said Edward Nero Sr.
State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has come under fire with critics, including the FOP, asking that she dismiss the charges. Supporters are waiting for the next trial to see what happens, with an officer who’s more central to the case.