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

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.

About the Author

Andrew Branca
Andrew F. Branca, Esq. is currently in his third decade of practicing law, and is an internationally-recognized expert on the law of self-defense of the United States. Andrew is a Guest Lecturer at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy, a former Guest Instructor at the Sig Sauer Academy, an NRA Life-Benefactor Member, and an NRA Certified Instructor. He also teaches lawyers how to argue self-defense cases as a certified instructor with the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) system in numerous states around the country. Andrew is also a host on the Outdoor Channel’s TV show “The Best Defense” and contributor to the National Review Online. Andrew has been quoted as a SME (subject-matter expert) on use-of-force law by the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, and many other mainstream media, including nationally syndicated broadcast media. Recently, Andrew won the UC Berkeley Law School debate on “Stand-Your-Ground,” and spoke at the NRA Annual Meeting Law Symposium on self-defense law. He is also a founding member of USCCA’s Legal Advisory Board. In addition to being a lawyer, Andrew is also a competitive handgun shooter, an IDPA Charter/Life member (IDPA #13), and a Master-class competitor in multiple IDPA divisions.

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