LI: Freddie Gray: Bench Trial of Lt. Brian Rice to Begin Thursday

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From my post over at Legal Insurrection:

The courts have scheduled the next trial in State Attorney’s apparently pathological persecution of innocent police officers charged in the death of community drug-dealer Freddie Gray on Thursday. This time the victim is Baltimore Police Department Lieutenant Brian Rice, the most senior of the six officers charged in Gray’s death. They have charged Rice is with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office, and reckless endangerment. He is free on $350,000 bail. Like every other officer charged in the case, Rice has pleaded not guilty.

To date, the state has unsuccessfully tried three of the six officers in Gray’s death. The first, Officer William Porter, ended in a hung jury, and scheduled to be retried. The second and third, of Officer Edward Nero and van driver Officer Caesar Goodson, were both bench trials and in both cases trial judge Barry Williams acquitted the officers of all charges. The Baltimore Sun reports that this morning Lt. Rice notified the court that he also elected a bench trial.

The prosecution in these trials has been characterized by a seemingly random interchange of variable theories of the case, none of which appear supported by actual evidence. The prosecution has also repeatedly failed to meet it’s discovery obligations, and has already been substantively sanctioned by Judge Williams for their repeated failure to share exculpatory and other evidence in a timely manner. These lapses include the failure to disclose evidence indicating that Gray’s death was initially believed accidental by the medical examiner and not a homicide.

To read the whole thing, click here.