» Closing arguments have concluded in the trial of Lt. Brian Rice in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, with prosecutors and Rice's defense attorneys wrapping up four days of testimony in a final attempt to sway Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams.
» The judge has said he will issue his verdict Monday at 10 a.m.
Rice, 42, is charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. He is the highest ranking officer of six charged in the case. He chose a bench trial, rather than a jury trial, making Williams the sole decider of his legal fate.
How did we get here?
Gray, 25, died April 19, 2015, a week after he suffered severe spinal cord injuries in the back of a police transport van. Rice was involved in Gray’s arrest and placement in the van in handcuffs and shackles but not secured in a seat belt.
Prosecutors allege Rice was negligent and uncaring when he failed to secure Gray in a seat belt, and that his decision cost Gray his life.
Rice’s defense attorneys have said his quick decision was “100 percent reasonable” given Gray’s combativeness, inherent dangers associated with securing detainees in seat belts in the close quarters of the van’s rear compartment, and the threat posed at the time by a growing number of angry bystanders who outnumbered officers at the scene.
So what's happened during the trial?
During Rice’s trial, the prosecution called 12 witnesses. The defense called four. Other witness testimony and evidence was stipulated, or agreed to by both sides without being heard in court. Those stipulations helped move the trial along quickly.
Rice, who did not testify, is the fourth officer to go to trial in the case. Officer William Porter had a mistrial in December after a 12-member jury failed to reach a consensus on any of the charges against him. Officers Edward Nero and Caesar Goodson Jr. were acquitted by Williams at bench trials in May and June, respectively.
At the conclusion of testimony in the case Tuesday, some legal observers questioned whether prosecutors had presented additional evidence — not seen in the previous officers’ trials — to warrant the prosecution, given the recent acquittals.