Today (June 9) marks the first day of the trial for Caesar Goodson Jr. The Baltimore police officer was involved in the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old Black man who died from spinal injuries in April 2015 after he was shackled in a police van without proper restraints and allegedly denied immediate medical treatment.
Six officers were indicted in Gray’s death, and Goodson faces the stiffest charges of the bunch: second-degree depraved heart murder, involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence), manslaughter by vehicle (criminal negligence), misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. If convicted on all charges, he could face more than 65 years in prison. None of the other officers were charged with second-degree depraved murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years.
Goodson, 46, is the officer who drove the van used to transport Gray. According to The Baltimore Sun, he elected to have a bench trial with Judge Barry Williams rather than appear before a jury. His is the third trial related to Gray’s death. The first, for William Porter, ended in a mistrial. He will be retried on September 6 and is expected to testify during Goodson’s trial. And Judge Williams found Edward Nero not guilty late last month after a six-day bench trial. The other trials are scheduled as follows: Lt. Brian Rice (July 5), Officer Garrett Miller (July 27) and Sgt. Alicia White (October 13).