Judge declares mistrial in Freddie Gray case after hung jury

BALTIMORE (KUSI) – A judge declared a mistrial Wednesday in the case of Baltimore police Officer William Porter after jurors said they were deadlocked and unable to reach a unanimous verdict on any of the four charges against him. Porter was one of six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray.

Prosecutors will decide whether to retry the case. The judge told the prosecution and defense attorneys to appear in administrative court Thursday morning to set a new trial date.

A defense attorney declined to comment, saying he was subject to a court gag order. Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby was in court when the mistrial was declared and looked visibly upset. Prosecutors appeared exasperated.

"The hung jury is, I think, a major setback for the state," said Andrew Alperstein, a Baltimore defense attorney and former prosecutor. But it’s no surprise the jury wasn’t able to reach a verdict, he said. "The issues in this case were confusing," he said, "and the evidence against this particular officer was unique, and it was different than the other defendants."

CNN legal analyst Paul Callan said it was surprising that prosecutors decided to start with Porter’s case. "I don’t think you want to start out with a problem case, and this case looks to be a very weak case," he said, "and obviously, if there’s a hung jury, it was presented in a very weak way."

The family of Freddie Gray asked the public to "remain calm" Wednesday after a judge declared a mistrial in the case of Baltimore police Officer William Porter.

Reading from a statement, Richard Shipley, Gray’s stepfather, said he is hopeful Porter will be retried. "We ask the public to remain calm, patient, because we are confident there will be another trial, and a different jury. If we are calm, you should be calm," he said.

A Baltimore grand jury initially indicted all six police officers accused in the death of Freddie Gray in May. 

There are a range of charges against all six officers and the most serious charge is second-degree murder against the van driver who Mosby said knew Freddie Gray was gravely hurt, but did not get him medical help and that’s what caused his death.

Freddie Gray’s death in police custody previously sparked protests and riots across Baltimore.

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