The trial of the Baltimore police officer facing the most serious charges in the death of Freddie Gray will start Thursday, USA Today reports.
Caesar Goodson Jr., who on Monday elected to face a judge in a bench trial, is facing charges of second-degree depraved-heart murder, manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. Judge Barry Williams is scheduled to hear opening statements in the case Thursday.
Goodson, the site notes, who is free on $350,000 bail, is the only officer facing the second-degree murder charge because he was the driver of the police van Gray was in when he was fatally injured. Goodson is accused of failing to make sure that Gray was properly secured in the back of the van, failing to to get help for Gray while he was apparently suffering and not driving the van safely. The second-degree murder charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 30 years.
Two of the six officers involved in the case have already been tried. The jury trial of Officer William Porter ended in a mistrial, and Porter is awaiting a new trial, while Officer Edward Nero was acquitted by Judge Williams in a bench trial.
According to the report, a small group of protesters assembled outside the courthouse. One protester, the Rev. Cortly “C.D.” Witherspoon, argued that a bench trial “deprives the citizens of Baltimore” the chance to decide Goodson’s fate.
Read more at USA Today.