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In the Media: Gray Officers Appear in Court; Maryland Fed Prisioners Released Early

The six Baltimore Police officers charged in Freddie Gray's homicide.
Baltimore City Police Department
The six Baltimore Police officers charged in Freddie Gray's homicide.

A digest of Baltimore news from local sources.

From The Baltimore Sun: All Six Officers Charged in Freddie Gray’s Death Appear in Court Tuesday

"All six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray appeared in court today as prosecutors and defense attorneys are set to argue outstanding motions in advance of their trails, slated to begin next month.

"Five of the officers appeared in court for the first time late last month with Officer William Porter waiving his right to appear. None of them spoke at length. Today's hearing is the first time all six of the officers have appeared in court together.

"The defense attorneys' motions to suppress the officers' statements to internal police investigators remain unresolved. Prosecutors consider the statements key evidence in their cases, while defense attorneys have argued they were made under duress and in violation of the officers' rights.

"Five of the officers provided statements, while the sixth — Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., the driver of the police transport van in which Gray sustained a severe spinal cord injury — refused to talk.

"In written motions, the attorneys have argued the officers gave their statements under duress for fear of losing their jobs, that some of them believed they were discussing what happened as witnesses rather than suspects, and that none were fully and properly briefed on their rights."

Full Article

From WBAL TV: Marylanders Among Federal Prisoners to be Released Early

"Hundreds of Marylanders in federal prison are about to receive their "get out of jail early" cards.

"The move is part of new sentencing guidelines for non-violent offenders nationwide. This reduced sentences are for people convicted in drug trafficking cases in federal court.

"Supporters say the shift is a way to end harsh sentences, though others worry what will happen once they come back into their communities.

"Thanks to a vote last year by the independent U.S Sentencing Commission, the prison doors on Nov. 1 will open early for roughly 140 Marylanders convicted in federal drug trafficking cases.

"A judge reviews whether the prisoner poses a threat to public safety before the release.

"'This is encouraging,' federal public defender Jim Wyda said. 'America sentences too many people for too severe sentences.'"

Watch at WBAL TV

From The Baltimore Sun: More than 700 Marijuana Plants Seized at Eastern Shore Pot Grow

"Police seized more than 700 marijuana plants with a street value of about $1.45 million at an Eastern Shore pot grow this summer, officials announced Monday.

"The plants, which ranged from 6 to 10 feet tall, were discovered Aug. 20 at an abandoned 15-acre property in Chesterville, in Kent County, police said. The property was overgrown and the home was covered entirely with plywood, they said.

"Investigators got a search warrant and found an indoor grow in the basement of the home, where the plants had been started before they were moved outside, police said. Many of the plants outside were of an "exotic variety" and they had a homemade irrigation and fertilizer system in place, police said.

"They were just weeks from being ready to harvest, police said.

"A small amount of processed marijuana, a heat sealer and multiple gallon plastic bags were found inside, as well as belongings of two suspects, police said. Police think the suspects were dropped off at the property to grow the drugs. Police watched the property for days before seizing the plants."

Full Article

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