|Mistrial in the William Porter murder case.|
William Porter isn't a free man but he's certainly walking out the courtroom feeling a little bit free.
The jury in the involuntary manslaughter case ruled in a mistrial. The Baltimore Police officer who drove the van where Freddie Gray sustain the fatal injuries
The trial started back in November and it ended with a hung jury. The jury informed Judge Barry G. Williams that they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict on any of the four charges, including the most serious charge of manslaughter. Williams declared a mistrial. An administrative court hearing will be held on Thursday to schedule a retrial date.
Legal experts told The New York Times this month that the verdict in Porter’s case could possibly set the tone for the trials of the five other officers. Prosecutors seek to use Porter as a material witness against at least two of them.
Gray sustained a spinal cord injury while riding in the police van in April. During the ride, his feet and hands were shackled, but he was not buckled in with a seatbelt. Medical experts who spoke with The Baltimore Sun about Gray’s injuries likened them to those seen in “victims of high-speed crashes.”
The prosecution has argued that Porter's failure to buckle Gray's seatbelt before the van pulled away makes him partially responsible for Gray's death. Porter admitted that he did not buckle Gray into the van because he had never seen another officer do so in approximately 150 other arrests during his time on the force.
Porter and his attorneys maintained that Officer Caesar Goodson, one of the officers charged and the driver of the van, ignored Porter’s advice that Gray needed medical assistance.
Porter took the witness stand on Dec. 9 and informed the jury of seven women and five men that he has never discharged his firearm, or used mace or a taser while on duty.
“People had negative views of police,” Porter said. “I wanted to give people a different view to police … I was always fair.”