Baltimore judge tosses request on evidence in Freddie Gray death case

A resident of the neighborhood where Freddie Gray was arrested and where residents rioted over his death in April walks past an abandoned building in West Baltimore, Maryland May 30, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Bourg (Reuters)
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(Reuters) - A Maryland judge has denied a prosecutor's request to keep lawyers for police charged in the death of a man in April from publicizing evidence before the trial, the Baltimore Sun reported late on Monday.

State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who is prosecuting six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, had wanted a Circuit Court hearing to argue for a protective order barring release of evidence.

The death of Gray, a 25-year-old black man, from a spinal injury suffered in police custody triggered protests and rioting. The incident heightened a U.S. debate on police treatment of minorities.

Mosby said she was concerned that defense lawyers would leak only evidence that supported their clients' defense, jeopardizing the chance for a fair trial.

Judge Barry Williams on Monday rejected Mosby's request without scheduling a hearing, the Sun reported.

"There simply is no basis in the assertions presented to the court for the broad and extraordinary relief sought in the motion," the newspaper said, quoting his ruling.

Williams said prosecutors had turned over evidence to defense lawyers by a June 26 deadline, and no evidence had been leaked since then.

The charges against the officers range from misconduct in office to second-degree murder. A trial is set for October.

Asked for comment on the ruling, Mosby spokeswoman Rochelle Ritchie said in an email, "We will litigate this case in the courtroom, not the media.”

(Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington and Donna Owens in Baltimore; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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