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  September 29, 2015

First Defendent in Freddie Gray Trial May Prove Key in Prosecution's Case

TRNN gets reactions to the judge's decision to postpone the trials for the six officers charged with killing Freddie Gray. A technical issue in an earlier version of this video has been fixed
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TAYA GRAHAM, TRNN: This is Taya Graham reporting for the Real News Network in Baltimore City, Maryland. I'm here in front of the Mitchell Courthouse where Judge Barry Williams just postponed the trials of the six officers charged with the in-custody death of Freddie Gray. We have a reaction from J. Wyndal Gordon, a defense attorney who was in the courtroom during the scheduling hearing.

SPEAKER: How would Porter affect their case, [or] help their case? Was it a conflicted statement [he made] about, he said that he asked for help?

J. WYNDAL GORDON: Well, yes. If that type of evidence comes in, then that was just, that's just one more piece of evidence that the jury would have to consider to determine whether or not this was some depraved indifference to the life of Freddie Gray when he was in the back of that vehicle. So if he's saying that he appeared as though he was in bad condition and he needed help and everyone just ignored him, I mean, that really speaks very badly on the police department. So absolutely, they will want that type of evidence coming in. And he's probably the only one in the whole wide world who can provide that type of evidence. So he's essential to their case. So it is very crucial, I believe, to the State's Attorney's office that they convict Porter. And if Porter doesn't get convicted then I think this case is going to fall like a house, like a house of cards.

SPEAKER: Unusual that Porter, we didn't see him in the courtroom. Everybody else was there.

GORDON: The question that it begs is, is there a chink the armor. You know, and I'm not trying to just put it out there, but it's very curious to me that he didn't appear. I mean, that solidarity that these officers had in the very beginning, it wasn't--at least in his absence, it wasn't noticed today. So maybe I'm just looking into it too deeply or maybe, maybe there are some talks taking place in the back room whereby Porter may be able to provide that testimony that the state is looking for, and he's trying to distance himself from his co-defendants. But that's speculation on my part. I have no facts to prove it, but it is very interesting that he didn't appear today.

GRAHAM: In front of the Mitchell Courthouse with Jaisal Noor. Jaisal, can you explain what happened in court today?

JAISAL NOOR, TRNN: So today Judge Barry Williams, he heard different motions about changing the date or keeping the date for the six officers charged with killing Freddie Gray. The first and most critical officer whose motion was heard was Officer Porter. Now, the defense has said that Porter is a necessary and material witness against Goodson, who was the driver of the van in which Freddie Gray was transported.

The other officers, they all put forth motions to keep their original trial dates, October 13. But the judge denied all of those motions for the other five officers. Officer Porter's trial date was set for November 30, and the other officers' trial dates were set after that.

GRAHAM: Since there were five officers in court today, could you tell anything about their demeanor? Did they have an opportunity to speak?

NOOR: Sure. They did not speak, but I was sitting right behind the defendants. And their moods varied from solemn to, in the case of Officer White, she seemed--she flashed a few smiles before the proceedings started. But as soon as her motion to keep the original trial date was denied, and subsequently for the other officers, their expressions turned very, very serious, and they seemed disappointed, I think, is a fair thing to take away from their, their--fair thing to take away from that.


DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


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