Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams ordered Wednesday separate trials for the six officers accused in the death in police custody of Freddie Gray.
Williams said a joint trial would “not be in the interest of justice” and ordered the separate trials.
Prosecutors said they wanted to try Officers Caesar Goodson and Edward Nero and Sgt. Alicia White together, arguing that the evidence ties them together.
Goodson, who drove the police van that took Gray to the Western District station, has been charged with second degree depraved heart murder. White is charged with manslaughter and Nero faces lesser charges, including second degree assault.
Their lawyers argued that their clients could not get a fair trial because the potential guilt of one could reflect on the others—guilt by association.
Defense attorneys had no comment leaving the courthouse and deferred questions about which officer would be tried first to the State’s Attorney’s Office.
Lt. Brian Rice and Officer William Porter also are charged with manslaughter and Officer Garrett Miller is charged with second degree assault among other crimes.
The trials originally were scheduled for early October, but today are ruling separating the trials, as well as a decision on whether to move the trials out of Baltimore, could throw that schedule into disarray. Judge Williams has scheduled a hearing on the motion to move the trials September 10.
A hearing on whether the trials will take place in Baltimore is scheduled for Sept. 10