A defendant testifies against a co-defendant in Maryland.
This week Maryland court and its Circuit Judge Barry Williams, who’s instead of jury to make a decision concerning the fate of Officer Nero, are taking part in a unique trial. Edward Nero is facing misdemeanor charges of second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of misconduct in connection with the death of a young black man, Freddie Gray.
The trial is so special because it is the first time when a defendant (Officer Garrett Miller) has to testify against a co-defendant with his own charges pending. In order not to force Officer Miller to testify against himself (the trial is to take place in July) he was provided with immunity.
One of the defense attorneys involved in the case said, “We’re seeing things we’ve never seen before: defendants in the midst of criminal charges pending against them being called to testify against the co-defendant.”
Marc Zayon, Edward Nero’s defender, and Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow though have already done their best to discredit Miller’s words by objecting him and trying to contrast his statements to police investigators with his current testimony.
In one of the interviews Nero stated: “Miller and I, we got him in custody,” but later his defender asked not to treat “one misstated pronoun” as a basis for the state assault case. Zayon also insisted that Nero touched Gray only once in order to help him find his inhaler.
Miller testified that Officer Nero didn’t participate in ‘grabbing’ Gray.
Schatzow asked Miller, “Did there come a time when you and the defendant apprehended Mr. Gray?”
“I did, sir,” Miller answered.
This hearing conducted in such an unusual way may arouse many arguments even between the prosecutors because the reason of the chase, which led to forcible placing Freddie Gray in the police van without buckling the seatbelt, still remains unclear.
We hope that no matter what, the judge will decide wisely from all the evidence and testimonies and refuse to be swayed away by any false testimony by a police officer, thereby shifting guilt.
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