The Latest: Officer opts for judge trial in Gray case
(AP) – The Latest on the trial for Lt. Brian Rice, who faces criminal charges in the death of Freddie Gray, the young black man whose broken neck after his arrest caused civil unrest in Baltimore. (all times local):
Prosecutors could have an uphill battle trying Baltimore Police Lt. Brian Rice in the death of Freddie Gray.
The judge says they can’t use 4,000 pages of Rice’s training records as evidence because they didn’t turn copies over to the defense in time.
Judge Barry Williams will begin trying Rice Thursday on charges of manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in the young black man’s death.
Prosecutors say they only recently acquired the records from police, but the judge said they should have used subpoena power to get them months ago.
The judge refused a defense request to dismiss the case entirely.
Rice, like two other officers tried before him, waived his right to a jury, putting his fate in the judge’s hands instead. Last month, Williams acquitted officers Edward Nero and Caesar Goodson, saying he saw no evidence that a crime was committed in Gray’s death.
There will be no trial by jury for the highest-ranking Baltimore police officer charged in the death of a young man whose neck was broken inside a police van. Lt. Brian Rice has chosen to be tried instead by a judge, the same one who acquitted two fellow officers in Freddie Gray’s death.
Rice faces charges of manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.
Judge Barry Williams acquitted Edward Nero and Caesar Goodson after bench trials last month. The first of the six officers to go to trial, William Porter, faced a jury and ended with a mistrial. He’ll be retried in September.
Gray’s neck was broken after officers left him handcuffed and shackled but unrestrained by a seat belt inside a metal transport compartment in Goodson’s van.
A motions hearing will be held ahead of a fourth Baltimore police officer’s trial on charges stemming from the death of a 25-year-old black prisoner whose neck was broken in the back of a police transport wagon.
Pre-trial motions begin Tuesday in the trial of Lt. Brian Rice on charges of manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office in the death of Freddie Gray.
Rice is the highest-ranking officer charged in the case. Two other police officers charged in the case were acquitted, and the proceeding against a third officer was declared a mistrial.
Gray died in April 2015, a week after he suffered a critical spinal injury in a police wagon while he was handcuffed and shackled but left unrestrained by a seat belt.