Officer Caesar Goodson trial: Day 1 recap

What happened Thursday?

» Judge Barry G. Williams denied a defense request to dismiss the case against Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. after a hearing about whether prosecutors wrongly withheld discussions they had with a potential witness, as revealed in newly unsealed documents.


» Williams also ordered prosecutors to produce any other evidence in any of the cases of the six officers charged in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray by Monday.

» Baltimore prosecutors alleged Thursday that the police officer driving the van where Freddie Gray was fatally injured gave him an intentional "rough ride," saying video shows him running a stop sign and crossing the center line.


» Goodson's lead defense attorney, Andrew Graham, said prosecutors can't prove their case. He said testimony will show the medical examiner initially believed Gray's death to be a "freakish accident," and said the defense will dispute the timeline of the injuries by calling Donte Allen, the second man who was in the back of the van.

» Proceedings wrapped up around 5 p.m. Thursday, and will resume at 9:30 a.m. Friday.

What has happened already?

On Monday, during a pretrial motions hearing, Goodson elected for a bench trial, leaving his legal fate in the hands of a judge rather than a jury. His trial was originally set to begin in January, but was postponed because of a Court of Special Appeals order.

The defendant

Goodson, 46, was the driver of the van used to transport Gray to Western District headquarters. Goodson, who has been free on $350,000 bail, drove the van on April 12 because he had volunteered to work an overtime shift on an off day. Goodson was scheduled to stand trial earlier this year, but the case was delayed by several legal challenges. He's the third of six Baltimore officers to stand trial in the Gray case.

The charges

Goodson is charged with second-degree depraved-heart murder, second-degree assault, misconduct in office, involuntary manslaughter, manslaughter by vehicles (gross negligence), manslaughter by vehicles (criminal negligence) and reckless endangerment. Of those officers charged, he's the only one facing a murder charge. The second-degree charge of depraved-heart murder carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Second-degree assault carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. Reckless endangerment carries a penalty of up to five years in prison. Misconduct in office does not carry a set term limit.


The prosecutors

Michael Schatzow, the second-highest-ranking prosecutor in the Baltimore state's attorney's office, and Janice Bledsoe, who oversees police misconduct investigations, are leading Goodson's prosecution. Schatzow is a former federal prosecutor and longtime white-collar lawyer, while Bledsoe is a former defense attorney who briefly led police misconduct investigations under former State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein. Goodson's case presents a unique challenge for prosecutors in that he was the only one of the six officers who did not give a statement to investigators.

The defense attorneys

Amy Askew, Matthew Fraling and Andrew Graham will defend Goodson. Graham is a prominent attorney and principal at the firm of Kramon & Graham; Askew is one of the firm's attorneys, and specializes in medical malpractice cases. Fraling is a former city prosecutor. The trial is expected to feature medical experts giving contrasting opinions over exactly how and when Gray was injured.

The judge

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Barry G. Williams has been a Circuit Court judge since 2005, following a career as an assistant city state's attorney and a special litigation counsel with the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, a role in which he traveled the country trying federal police misconduct cases. Williams ruled in a bench trial once already in the cases against Baltimore officers charged in Gray's death, acquitting Officer Edward Nero in May.


What's happened in each of the cases so far?

Two of the six officers charged in Gray's arrest and death have already been on trial. A trial for Officer William Porter ended in a hung jury in December. He'll be retried later this year. Officer Edward Nero elected for a bench trial and was acquitted of all charges last month.

What's next?

Following the Goodson trial, four more Baltimore police officers charged in Gray's arrest and death are set to go on trial by October. Goodson's trial is to be followed by those of Lt. Brian Rice (July 5), Officer Garrett Miller (July 27), Porter (Sept. 6) and Sgt. Alicia White (Oct. 13). All the officers have pleaded not guilty.

How can I follow the proceedings?

The Sun is hosting a live blog with updates throughout the proceedings.