Warnken, LLC Attorneys at Law, Attorneys & Lawyers, Pikesville, MD

The Elements of the Offenses in the Charges Against the Officers in Freddie Gray’s Death

  • Second degree depraved heart murder is killing a person when exercising an extreme disregard for human life, also known as a wanton and willful disregard for human life.  (30-year felony)
  • Involuntary manslaughter is killing a person when exercising a wanton and reckless disregard for human life.  (10-year felony)
  • Second degree assault is causing offense contact by a wanton and reckless disregard for a person’s integrity. (10-year misdemeanor)
  • False imprisonment is detaining a person against his or her will. (common law misdemeanor; no statutory penalty)
  • Misconduct in office

First degree murder would require a specific intent to kill or killing during the course of an inherently dangerous felony.  The charges that were issued almost certainly mean that the State’s Attorney does not believe the officers had specific intent to kill Freddie Gray.

In order to bring criminal charges, the prosecutor should have probable cause to believe those charges are provable at the time those charges are filed.  The full list of charges as reported by the Sun, is here.