Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died April 19 of a spinal injury after being found unresponsive in a police van following his arrest, told a police officer a month earlier about a prior back injury -- evidence that was not disclosed to the defense team of one of the police officers charged in Gray’s death.
After learning of the discovery violation, attorneys representing Officer William Porter asked Judge Barry Williams during a Monday bench conference to dismiss the case, grant a mistrial and exclude testimony from the state’s medical experts. Williams denied the requests, but said the defense could use the document – which is under seal – any way it chooses. The conference occurred after the jury was dismissed for the day.
Porter, who is black, is the first of six Baltimore cops expected to go on trial for Gray’s death. Porter faces manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct-in-office charges.
Gray was arrested April 12 and was found unresponsive in the back of a transport van later that day. He died a week later from a lack of oxygen to his brain caused by a spinal injury. The prosecution says that Porter didn’t call for a medic soon enough after Gray said he needed help. They also say Porter failed to properly buckle Gray into a seatbelt.
But Porter’s defense team contends that Gray had a previous back injury – something supported by Gray’s newly revealed statement – and also is attempting to poke holes in the connection between Gray’s injury and Porter’s role in the 45-minute transport van ride that ended with Gray on the ground and unresponsive.
The prosecution on Tuesday rested its case and the defense is scheduled to begin its presentation on Wednesday. A defense motion on Tuesday to dismiss the case was denied.
Fox News’ Kara Rowland and Jake Gibson and the Associated Press contributed to this report.