Feedback
News

Prosecutors Drop Remaining Charges Against Officers in Freddie Gray Case

Freddie Gray Case: All Charges Dropped Against Remaining Officers 2:21

Baltimore prosecutors have dropped the remaining cases against the three officers to be tried in the death of Freddie Gray, bringing the case to an end without a conviction.

Officer Garrett E. Miller's trial was slated to start Wednesday with Sgt. Alicia D. White to begin in October.

The trial of Officer William Porter, who was seen as a pivotal witness, ended in December with a mistrial. He was to be retried in September.

Related: Trial of Van Driver in Freddie Gray Case Reveals Prosecutor Violations

The Baltimore City State Attorney's decision to not prosecute those cases marks a surprising end to a protracted legal saga for a fractured city which erupted in riots and protests after the death of Gray, 25, while in police custody.

Charges dropped against officers in Freddie Gray case 2:29

Experts have said the prosecution's inability to net a conviction in the previous trials highlighted State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby's overreach in charging the six officers in the death of Gray, who died of injuries sustained in the back of a police van last year. Van driver, Caesar Goodson, who faced the most serious allegations, including second-degree depraved heart murder, was acquitted last month.

Officer Edward Nero was acquitted in April.

On Wednesday, with a court gag order removed, a defiant Mosby said police took steps to tank the case and "physically and professionally threatened, mocked and even sued" she and staffers working on the case.

"As a mother, the decision to not proceed on these trials is agonizing," she said. "As a prosecutor, I must consider the dismal likelihood of conviction at this point."

That fate, legal experts said, was the result of haste in pressing charges as community pressure mounted and the national glare put Baltimore and its handling of a racially charged case dealing with police brutality in the spotlight.

Related: Why Freddie Gray Case Could Make or Break Marilyn Mosby

"It was clearly a rush. Keep in mind, the police got their investigation in on a Thursday, and she announces the next morning that she's decided to file these charges," Warren Brown, a Baltimore criminal defense attorney who has observed the officers' trials, told NBC News recently.

The case also shone a light on some of the case's more questionable aspects.

Related: Could Outcome in Caesar Goodson Trial Spell End for Freddie Gray Case?

Presiding Judge Barry Williams said prosecutors in the Goodson trial withheld critical information from the defense that could have helped their case. Such "exculpatory" information is a core legal obligation in prosecutions and goes to fundamental fairness rights.

"I'm not saying you did anything nefarious. I'm saying you don't understand what 'exculpatory' means," Williams told prosecutors upon discovering the violations.

Image:
Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, leaves the courthouse in Baltimore during the trial of Officer Caesar Goodson, one of six Baltimore city police officers charged in connection to the death of Freddie Gray, in the second day of his trial, Friday, June 10, 2016, in Baltimore. Jose Luis Magana / AP

For Mosby, who catapulted to the national stage in the wake of unrest in Baltimore as a savvy, young prosecutor determined to seek justice, the outcome of the Gray cases has been a blow.

With the Goodson trial she especially faced an uphill battle. His would have been the first conviction of its kind in at least a decade, according to data exclusively obtained by NBC News compiled by Bowling Green State University criminologist Philip Stinson, who studies officer arrests.

Mosby is being sued by three of the officers involved for a range of causes including false arrest, false imprisonment and defamation. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump waded in on the decision Wednesday to drop the charges saying that Mosby "oughta prosecute herself."

Mosby had choice words for her critics.

"To those who believe I am anti police that’s certainly not the case," Mosby said during her press conference on Wednesday. "I’m anti police brutality."

This is a breaking story. Refresh for updates.