The prosecution in the murder trial of Freddie Gray alleged that police officer Caesar Goodson gave Gray a “rough ride” with the intent to hurt the 25-year-old resident of Baltimore’s Gilmor Homes.
Goodson, who drove the police wagon that transported Gray, is charged with second-degree depraved heart murder, the most serious charge against the six officers.
If convicted, Goodson faces 30 years in prison.
Gray, who was not seat-belted, suffered a severe spinal injury during transport after an illegal arrest.
During opening arguments, the defense said that police routinely do not seatbelt passengers during wagon transport, as the space is too narrow and would leave the officer “body to body” with the suspect.
Judge Barry Williams admonished the state after a drawn-out defense motion to dismiss the charges. But Williams did find the prosecution withheld evidence that would have helped the defendant.
The defense in the Goodson trial might argue that Caesar did not make the arrest and therefore was not responsible for putting the seat belt on Freddie Gray.
In the two previous trials, other officers testified it is the duty of the wagon driver.
It is unclear whether Dante Allan, who was inside the police wagon with Freddie Gray, will testify.
Allan initially told police that that Freddie Gray was banging on the walls of the wagon after prosecutors say Gray was already severely injured.
He later gave contradictory statements to reporters.