Case Crumbling in Marilyn Mosby’s Malicious Prosecution of Officer Goodson

Caesar Goodson

Ceasar Goodson (Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

Following on the heels of news that Marilyn Mosby’s prosecutors failed to disclose exculpatory evidence to the defense in the trial of Officer Caesar Goodson, Judge Barry Williams allowed evidence that would normally be inadmissible as hearsay as a “remedy.” Days after Gray’s death, assistant medical examiner Dr. Carol Allan said that the death was a, “freakish accident, and that no human hands can cause this.” Allan later labeled the death as a homicide.

The prosecution of Officer Goodson has been centering around the premise that Officer Goodson gave Gray a “rough ride.” This is despite the fact that a prisoner in the van with Gray had told investigators that it was a “smooth ride,” and there is absolutely no evidence that Officer Goodson gave Gray a rough ride. The prosecution brought in retired Lt. Commander Neill Franklin as an “expert witness” to testify that not seatbelting passengers is dangerous; which is evidence of exactly nothing. As expert witnessed are generally paid for their testimony, it wasn’t reported how much Franklin got paid by the prosecution to deliver that humdinger.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

Tensions between police and prosecutors in Baltimore erupted in a downtown courtroom Thursday, with a top prosecutor accusing a lead detective of trying to sabotage the state’s case against six officers in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray.

Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow also suggested that Det. Dawnyell Taylor, the lead detective in the police department’s investigation of Gray’s death, and other top police officials had tried to persuade assistant medical examiner Dr. Carol Allan to rule Gray’s death an accident rather than a homicide.

Taylor denied the claims, and in turn suggested Deputy State’s Attorney Janice Bledsoe, with whom she had fallen out during the investigation, lacked integrity and was dismissive of evidence in the case.

The clashes came as Taylor took the stand for the defense in the second-degree murder trial of Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., the driver of the van in which Gray suffered fatal spinal injuries last year.

Taylor testified that Allan had said during a meeting in the days after Gray’s death that it was a “freakish accident, and that no human hands can cause this.”

Allan eventually ruled Gray’s death a homicide, and testified that she never considered it an accident.

Taylor was allowed to testify about Allan’s alleged statements, which would normally be considered hearsay, as part of a “remedy” ordered by Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams for the state having broken discovery rules in the case by failing to provide certain evidence to the defense. Williams ordered Taylor’s testimony admissible earlier this week.

On cross examination, Schatzow immediately asked Taylor about her falling out with Bledsoe during the investigation. He also suggested Taylor didn’t like him because he had asked her to be removed from the investigation because he felt she was “sabotaging” it.

Taylor said she was never removed, and that she just agreed to stop having communications with the State’s Attorney’s Office. She also accused Bledsoe of acting like a child, who at one point “stormed out of the room in a tantrum” during a meeting to exchange evidence.

Schatzow asked Taylor who else from the police department was with her when Allan allegedly said Gray’s death was a “freakish accident.”

She identified a long list of top commanders, including current Commissioner Kevin Davis.

Schatzow asked her if all of the commanders in the room had suggested to Allan that Gray’s death was an accident. Taylor said they had not, and that Allan had offered the assessment on her own.

“That was precisely the news the command staff was looking for, wasn’t it?” Schatzow said, suggesting a less than impartial investigation by police.

There was then an extended discussion regarding Taylor’s testimony that she had taken notes at the meeting with Allan, and the state’s contention that she had given those notes directly to the defense without providing them to the state.

Taylor said she offered her notes multiple times to Bledsoe, but that Bledsoe either ignored them or pushed them away when offered.

As the lead detective in the case, Taylor should have been presenting evidence for the prosecution. Due to Taylor’s position, she’s aware that there’s no evidence of wrongdoing, so the prosecution is forced to attempt to discredit her.

It’s becoming more obvious each day that there are more facts present at a Black Lives Matter protest than there are in this case.