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Miller trial will have some differences

Baltimore Police

Pre-trial motions in the trial of Officer Garrett Miller will be heard Wednesday at Courthouse East.

Miller, one of six officers charged in last year’s death of Freddie Gray, will be the fifth officer brought to trial in the case.

This trial will have some differences from the previous four.

For starters, Michael Schatzow and Janice Bledsoe – the chief deputy and deputy state’s attorneys, respectively – will not be prosecuting Officer Miller.

Miller testified during the trial of Officer Edward Nero under limited immunity.  None of that testimony can be used against Miller for his upcoming trial.

To make sure prosecutors aren’t affected by that testimony Assistant State’s Attorneys Lisa Phelps and Sarah David have been tapped to handle this case.

In addition, Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams, who has presided over the previous trials, will hold what is called a “Kastigar” hearing to make sure that none of the immunized testimony is part of the state’s evidence.

Miller has been indicted on assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of misconduct in office.

The state has yet to win a conviction in these cases.

The first trial, of Officer William Porter, ended in December 2015 in a hung jury.  He is to be re-tried in September.

Judge Williams acquitted Officers Edward Nero and Caesar Goodson and Lt. Brian Rice in May, June and July respectively. The officers had elected to put their fate in the judge’s hands rather than a jury.

Legal observers say they expect Miller to do the same.

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