A federal jury acquitted D.C. detectives Milagros Morales and Erick Brown last night of charges that they pressed witnesses in a murder investigation to lie to a prosecutor so that she would sign off on an arrest warrant for the wrong man, the WaPo reports today.
After a day of deliberation, the jury discarded the government’s claims that the detectives had asked witnesses to tailor their original statements about the 2005 stabbing death of Terrance Brown at a Washington, D.C., nightclub. (Read more about the case here.) The detectives have been on administrative leave since their indictment last year.
The two-week trial was extraordinary for its window into the justice system: Rarely are the disagreements between police and prosecutors so vividly – and publicly – expressed. (Check out our story on it from last week.) The cast of witnesses and lawyers included a sitting D.C. Superior Court judge and former assistant U.S. Attorney (Jennifer Anderson), a former homicide chief in the U.S. Attorney’s Office (David Schertler), and a special prosecutor from Virginia (William Gould). Schertler represented Morales, and Steptoe & Johnson partner Reid Weingarten, a former trial attorney in the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section, represented Brown.