The trial of the police officer who faces the most serious charge in the Freddie Gray case is set to begin today in Baltimore. Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., 46, drove the van in which Gray suffered a fatal neck injury last year and is the only one of six officers charged in the case to face a murder count.
In addition to second-degree “depraved-heart” murder, which carries a maximum 30-year prison sentence, Goodson has been charged with manslaughter, assault and misconduct in office, reports the Washington Post. Goodson is the third officer to go to trial in the high-profile case that ignited protests and unrest in Baltimore.
In December, the trial of officer William Porter ended in a hung jury. Last month, Edward Nero, who chose a trial by judge instead of jury, was acquitted on all charges, including second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of misconduct in office. Goodson has also selected a bench trial, waiving his right to a jury. Gray, 25, was arrested April 12, 2015, after making eye contact with police in his West Baltimore neighborhood and then running. After officers detained Gray, they loaded him into the back of a police van with his arms and legs shackled. On the way to jail, the van made a series of stops and Gray sustained a serious spinal injury, dying one week later.