JUDGE

Baltimore Officer Caused Freddie Gray's Broken Neck: State

Baltimore Officer Caesar Goodson faces charges including second-degree murder and manslaughter; verdict expected Thursday

A verdict is expected Thursday in the case against the driver of a police wagon in which Freddie Gray died on the way to a Baltimore police station.

Monday, prosecutors tried one last time to persuade a judge that Gray died after a "rough ride" on the way to a police station, and that Officer Caesar Goodson was responsible.

Both the prosecution and defense delivered closing arguments after more than five days of testimony in Goodson's trial on charges including second-degree murder and manslaughter.

Other officers left Gray in handcuffs and leg shackles inside the paddy wagon, leaving him unable to protect himself from being slammed into the van's metal walls during the ride. Prosecutors say Goodson "breached his duty'' when he failed to buckle Gray into a seat belt that would have restrained him.

They also said Goodson failed to call for a medic, ran a stop sign and made a wide turn during the 45-minute ride to the station, which is only a few blocks from where Gray was arrested. Prosecutors allege that Gray was fatally injured after that wide turn.

Goodson's attorneys say officers checked on Gray and saw no signs of medical distress during five stops before he arrived critically injured at the station.

Goodson declined to testify on his behalf. He's the third of six officers to be tried, and the state has yet to win a conviction in the case, which prompted street riots and a very public clash between prosecutors and police.

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Initially the state alleged that Goodson gave Gray a "rough ride'' with the intention of bouncing the man around and injuring him. But prosecutors made no mention of a rough ride in their closing arguments, and Goodson's defense accused them of changing their story.

Prosecutors "failed to cobble together any type of case with reasonable inferences, let alone evidence,'' defense attorney Matthew Fraling argued.

Judge Barry Williams will decide the fate of the officer, who decided against a jury trial.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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