The defense is doing anything they can to tip the scales in the favor of the police officers on trial for the murder of Freddie Gray. However, a Baltimore judge denied a request for a change of venue.
Reports the The Baltimore Sun:
Baltimore Circuit Court judge ruled Thursday morning that the trials of six police officers charged in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray will stay in Baltimore, saying the defense had failed to prove that the officers cannot receive a fair trial in the city.
“The citizens of Baltimore are not monolithic,” Judge Barry Williams said in his ruling. “They think for themselves.”
Williams heard arguments from defense attorneys who said that intense media coverage and this week’s surprise multi-million dollar settlement with Gray’s family, along with fear of future unrest, created an atmosphere in which jurors would be biased.
Prosecutors, however, urged that moving the case before screening potential jurors would be premature.
Williams agreed, saying it was wrong to “assume they cannot be fair” without questioning potential jurors. Williams was unconvinced that media coverage had influenced citizens – at least not any more than residents of other jurisdictions, saying the coverage had been “local, state, national, international.”
It was Judge Williams who ordered that the police officers have separate trials.
What scheme will the defense think of next?
Recently, the City of Baltimore offered Freddie Gray’s family a $6.4M settlement.