Defense attorneys for the six police officers accused in the Freddie Gray case - with charges ranging from second-degree murder to false imprisonment - want the State Attorney to recuse herself and/or the case to be dismissed.
The defense attorneys claim five areas of conflict of interest of the State Attorney Marilyn Mosby in a 109-page motion filed Friday in Baltimore City District Court.
Three of the five claims have previously appeared in the open letter penned by the Baltimore police union Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) president Gene Ryan.
In the letter dated May 1, Ryan writes that he has “deep concerns about the many conflicts of interest” and lists them as “[Mosby’s] personal and professional relationship with Gray family attorney, William Murphy,” “the lead prosecutor’s connections with members of the local media,” and the direct impact, “for better or worse,” the outcome of the investigation will have on Mosby’s husband’s political future.
The open letter goes on to ask Mosby to “appoint a Special Prosecutor to determine whether or not any charges should be filed.”
Friday’s motion claims “rarely in the history of any criminal case has a prosecutor so directly maintained so many conflicts of interest” and proceeds to list five conflicts of interest, three of which already mentioned in the FOP’s open letter.
The document says State’s Attorney Mosby and her husband, City Council member Nick Mosby would use the case for “the seizing of personal and political gain.”
The couple, CNN reports, live in the area where Gray was arrested and the councilman, as the representative of the district where much of the rioting and looting happened, was in a position to influence State’s Attorney Mosby’s approach to the Freddie Gray case.
Responding to the claims made by the police union Mosby said last week “My husband is a public servant and so am I. He makes the laws, I enforce them. There is no conflict of interest.”
The defense lawyers say they are likely to call investigators from Mosby’s office as witnesses but they may be compromised because of their loyalty to their boss who wants a conviction.
The defense has sent a notice to the city and the state saying it believes there is cause to file a civil lawsuit due to what it considers the unlawful arrest and detention of the six officers.
The motion filed on late Friday afternoon also mentions the relationship between a reporter who is a potential witness in the case and a district attorney, while pointing out that the Gray family lawyer is a friend of Mosby’s and has contributed to her campaign.
Mosby had said last week that the Fraternal Order of Police had also donated to her campaign.
The Gray family lawyer William Murphy responded to the FOP’s request that Mosby recuse herself because of their relationship.
“We expect Marilyn Mosby to be no more swayed by our donation than she is by the one made by Baltimore Police,” he wrote on Twitter.
Freddie Gray was a 25-year old Baltimore man who died on Apr. 19 as a result of injuries sustained in police custody. Protests and riots ensued until charges were brought against six police officers by State Attorney Marilyn Mosby.