BALTIMORE (AP) -- A Baltimore judge on Wednesday refused to dismiss charges against six police officers in connection with the death of a black man who had been seriously injured while in custody. The judge also refused to remove the prosecutor in the case that sparked riots in Baltimore last spring.
During a pretrial hearing, Judge Barry Williams denied a defense motion for the charges to be dropped against the officers in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who endured a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody on April 12 and died a week later.
Defense attorneys had sought to drop the charges -- which range from second-degree assault to second-degree murder -- because of prosecutorial misconduct on the part of State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby. Williams, however, said that while Mosby's public comments regarding initial statements made by the officers to investigators were "troubling," they are not likely to prejudice a jury.
Andrew Graham, an attorney representing Officer Caesar Goodson, had unsuccessfully argued that Mosby's comments after filing charges against the officers were "reckless and unprofessional," and violated the rules of conduct.
Graham likened Mosby's comments on the case to a "pep rally calling for payback."
Williams was later to rule on a motion for Mosby to recuse herself due to what defense attorneys characterize as conflicts of interest.
Officers Edward Nero, Garrett Miller, William Porter and Goodson, as well as Lt. Brian Rice and Sgt. Alicia White, face charges in Gray's death. They did not attend the hearing.
All the officers face second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office charges. Rice, Porter and White also face manslaughter charges, and Goodson faces an additional charge of second-degree murder.
Dozens of protesters rallied outside the Baltimore courthouse to express their anger and indignation over Gray's treatment.