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Freddie Gray officers’ defamation suits against Mosby likely to be consolidated

Lawsuits filed against Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby by five of the six officers charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray will likely be consolidated in federal court after being assigned to a judge for coordination.

Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby addresses the media July 27 after prosecutors dropped the remaining charges against officers charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby addresses the media July 27 after prosecutors dropped the remaining charges against officers charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

Lt. Brian Rice, Sgt. Alicia White and Officers Edward Nero, Garrett Miller and William Porter filed lawsuits in late April and early May to preserve a defamation claim against Mosby for her statements May 1, 2015 announcing the charges. (Officer Caesar Goodson, the driver of the transport van, had not filed suit in state or federal court as of Friday.)

Nero, Goodson and Rice were acquitted after bench trials earlier this year; Mosby announced July 27 charges against the remaining officers would be dismissed, lifting a gag order on the criminal proceedings and freeing all of the civil lawsuits to move forward.

Rice, Nero and Miller’s lawsuit included federal claims and was filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, while Porter and White’s case was initially filed in Baltimore City Circuit Court and amended to include federal claims. It was then removed to federal court.

U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis issued an order Thursday laying out a schedule for motions in the cases in anticipation of consolidated pretrial proceedings.

Mosby has not responded to the complaints in writing but indicated she will file a motion for dismissal or summary judgment similar to the one filed by Maj. Samuel Cogen, her co-defendant from the Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office, according to Garbis. Her motion is due Aug. 19. Responses to both defendants’ motions will be due Sept. 12.

A hearing on motions will be scheduled at a later date, possibly during the week of Oct. 10. Garbis gave the parties until Tuesday to object to the proposed schedule.