BALTIMORE (AP) — The Latest on the trial for a police van driver facing a second-degree murder charge stemming from the in-custody death of a 25-year-old black man (all times local):
A blood expert has testified that suspected blood stains found in the back of a Baltimore Police transport wagon where a prisoner’s neck was broken were indeed blood, and another witness said DNA analysis confirmed it belonged to the prisoner who died.
Serologist Virginia Cates testified Tuesday in the trial of an officer charged with murder in death of the prisoner, Freddie Gray. Officer Caesar Goodson faces second-degree murder, manslaughter and other charges.
Cates confirmed that what investigators found in the back of Goodson’s transport wagon was blood. DNA analyst Thomas Herbert testified that five of the 20 swabs taken matched Gray’s DNA.
Prosecutors say Goodson gave Gray a “rough ride” in his wagon, and intentionally failed to buckle him into a seat belt or call for medical help. Goodson’s attorneys say the officer did nothing wrong.
A police detective involved in the investigation into the death of a man whose neck was broken in the back of a police wagon testified during the murder trial for the van driver that he never saw the wagon make any abrupt stops.
Det. Michael Boyd was the state’s 14th witness against Officer Caesar Goodson, who faces murder, manslaughter and other charges stemming from the death of Freddie Gray. During cross-examination he said based on video footage he didn’t think the van made any abrupt stops or turns.
Prosecutors say Goodson gave Gray a “rough ride” and intentionally didn’t buckle the man into a seat belt while he was handcuffed and shackled “in order to bounce him around.” The state also says Goodson was negligent when he failed to call a medic for Gray. Goodson’s attorneys say the officer drove carefully, and did nothing wrong.
The state also called Crime Lab Technician Thomas Wisner on Tuesday, who testified that he swabbed several suspected blood stains from the back of the wagon where Gray was transported. Under cross-examination, Wisner said he wasn’t sure how long the blood had been there, or whether the van had been in use between when Gray was injured, on April 12, and when he swabbed the wagon, on April 20.
The defense team for an officer facing a murder charge stemming from the death of a 25-year-old black man in custody will determine whether to file motions after the state was forced to turn over a packet of information to them.
Forty-six-year-old Caesar Goodson, who is black, is charged with second-degree murder stemming from Freddie Gray’s death. Gray died in 2015, a week after he suffered a critical spinal injury in Goodson’s van. Goodson’s trial began Thursday.
Last week Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams admonished the state for failing to disclose information to Goodson’s defense team and gave prosecutors until Monday to turn over anything that could be considered helpful to the defense. On Monday, prosecutors produced a packet.
Testimony will resume Tuesday.
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