Notes Reveal Relationship Between Gray Family Attorney and Baltimore City State’s AttorneyQuestions have surfaced about information the State’s Attorneys Office apparently shared with outside attorneys, just days after the death of Freddie Gray.
The attorney who met with prosecutors represented the Gray family. Baltimore attorney Billy Murphy eventually negotiated a $6.4 million dollar settlement between the Gray family and City of Baltimore.
Notes that appear to be written by Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow indicate, two days after Freddie Gray’s death he is in a meeting with Marilyn Mosby, Janice Bledsoe, and Billy Murphy.
Other documents obtained by Fox45 show six months before the April 21, 2015 meeting Murphy was representing Mosby.
Local attorney David Ellin says, “It’s a huge problem. The fact that he is in any meeting with anyone with the State’s Attorney’s Office is a huge conflict. Who knows what he told them and who knows what they told him? Who knows what information he used to extract a $6.4 million settlement from the City.”
Another note reads, “A deal made with Billy Murphy to release autopsy on Thursday…” University of Maryland law professor Doug Colbert says it’s not unusual for attorneys involved in prosecuting the case and representing the family to meet.
Colbert says, “You want the criminal case to be as strong as possible because that’s going to aid you in your negotiations with the City for monetary damages.” Mosby did not successfully prosecute any of the six officers charged in the Gray case.
Ellin says, “He was her attorney. No doubt he represented her against the Attorney Grievance Commission… clearly that is something that should have been disclosed…”
Colbert says, “This is a bogus issue. This is really what I would call hogwash.”
With the primary election less than two weeks away, Colbert questions the timing of these documents being released and he’s not alone.
In a statement released on behalf of the State’s Attorney’s Office a spokeswoman said, “These documents reflect attorney work product of various discussions between the Chief Deputy State’s Attorney, the City Solicitor and various other parties. Pursuant to the judges order, it was provided to all defense attorneys in the Freddie Gray Case and placed under protective order. Hence, the timing of the disclosure is rather suspiciously political and has no bearing on the posture or outcome of the case.”
Billy Murphy emailed a statement saying, “This story and line of inquiry is ridiculous. It reeks of a desperate political agenda in an election year.” Ellin says, “You do have to look at the timing of these documents being released, and where they came from… It is damning no matter when they were released and there may be a motive behind someone releasing them, but regardless of that fact there documents are very damning.”
Both of Mosby’s opponents released statements as well. Thiru Vignaraja tells Fox45, “I don’t know what is worse; notes suggesting collusion by Ms. Mosby in the Freddie Gray case or Bates leaking materials that were subject to a gag order for political gain. Bates certainly had the motive and opportunity—so did some of his closest supporters. At a time when the public needs confidence in its leaders, this is just getting pathetic.”
Ivan Bates Pursuant to court order, I cannot comment on the specific content of these documents. By blaming others for their release, Marilyn Mosby once again continues a pattern of excuses while the family of the Freddie Gray has to revisit the trauma from her failure to deliver justice. Baltimore deserves a State’s Attorney who no longer has to make excuses because they have the experience to do the job.”