Hearing set for officer charged in Freddie Gray’s death

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals on Tuesday set a March 4 hearing date to determine whether William Porter must testify in the trial of Caesar Goodson.

Barring other developments, Goodson’s trial has been put on hold until the issue of Porter’s testimony is resolved.

The two officers are among the six Baltimore police officers charged in the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray, who suffered a fatal spinal injury after being shackled without a seat belt in the police van.

Goodson, who drove the police van carrying Gray, faces the most severe charge in Gray’s death: second-degree depraved-heart murder, which could mean 30 years behind bars if convicted.

Goodson is also charged with involuntary manslaughter; second-degree negligent assault; manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence); manslaughter by vehicle (criminal negligence); misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. Two of the manslaughter charges and the assault charge are each punishable by up to a decade in prison.

Jury selection in Goodson’s trial had been slated to start Monday, but a stay brought the proceedings to a stop pending the issue of Porter’s testimony.

The order leaves open the possibility for prosecutors to file a motion to remove the stay.

Porter’s case ended with a mistrial last month. He faces a retrial scheduled for June 13 on charges of involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.

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