- The Washington Times - Monday, December 21, 2015

A Baltimore police officer whose trial on manslaughter charges related to death of Freddie Gray ended last week with a hung jury will be retried next year, according to Maryland court officials.

A new trial date for Officer William Porter, the first of six Baltimore police officers to go to trial in the case, was set for June 13, 2016, officials said Monday.

What remains unclear is the role that Officer Porter would play in the trial of other officers, at least one of whom is scheduled to be tried in January.

Prosecutors had expected to call Officer Porter as a witness in the trials of some of his colleagues. However, in the absence of a conviction or acquittal in the case, Officer Porter could invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself and avoid testifying against the other officers.

Five other police officers were charged in connection with the death of Gray, who suffered a broken neck while handcuffed in the back of a police van in April and later died from his injuries. Prosecutors said Officer Porter was partially to blame for Gray’s death because he failed to buckle Gray into a seat belt in the van or to call for an ambulance when Gray asked for a medic.

But Officer Porter testified during his trial that he told the driver of the van, Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., to take Gray to the hospital. The next related case scheduled to go to trial on Jan. 6 is that of Officer Goodson.

Court officials did not respond to requests for comment regarding whether or not Officer Porter will still be called as a witness in Officer Goodson’s trial.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys are both bound from talking about the case due to a gag order.

• Andrea Noble can be reached at anoble@washingtontimes.com.

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