A federal perjury trial in Baltimore looms on the horizon in March against the city’s former state’s attorney who prosecuted the officers connected to Freddie Gray’s death in 2015.
Marilyn Mosby’s defense team asked the judge to relocate the trial from Baltimore to a place where the jury pool was less connected to her time as a prosecutor.
But CBS Baltimore reports that U.S. District Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby rejected Mosby’s change of venue motion Tuesday (Jan. 17). However, she recognized the defense’s concerns and permitted her attorneys to raise the issue again later.
A federal grand jury indicted Mosby in January 2022 on four counts of perjury and mortgage fraud. She’s accused of lying about a pandemic-caused financial hardship to withdraw money early from her retirement account to purchase two Florida vacation properties. Prosecutors allege she also lied on mortgage applications.
Mosby asked the judge in November to move the trial to Greenbelt, Md., about 28 miles away from Baltimore, where "far fewer people have heard of or formed an opinion about this case" and "far more likely to provide a fair and unbiased jury pool for the trial in this matter," the filing said, according to CBS Baltimore.
WBAL reports that the judge noted the jury pool draws from the Eastern Shore and the northern part of the state, which prompted Mosby’s attorney to argue that the jury pool wouldn’t represent a cross-section of the community if jurors from Baltimore are not in the pool.
Prosecutors have argued that the defense hasn’t proven its stated concerns about the jury pool. And the judge said in her ruling there’s no data to support the defense’s argument that a Greenbelt jury pool was less exposed to pretrial publicity than Baltimore residents, adding that notoriety isn’t enough to justify a venue change.
Mosby’s trial is expected to start March 27 and last about three weeks.