(AllHipHop News) Baltimore police officer Caesar Goodson, Jr. was accused of second-degree depraved heart murder, three counts of manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in the death of civilian Freddie Gray.
Thursday morning, Circuit Judge Barry Williams acquitted Goodson on all charges and he will walk a free man with no repercussions in the death of Gray.
Goodson was one of six officers accused, but he faced the most serious of the charges.
He was accused of not helping Freddie Gray and giving him a “rough ride,” a murderous drive through the city that broke Gray’s neck. Prosecutors say that Goodson was directly responsible for the injuries that ultimately killed Gray.
According to insiders, the other four officers may not even go to trial now that the most serious charges have not resulted in a conviction. Critics say this is a huge overreach by the state. Judge Williams stated that the prosecution simply didn't prove its case.
Goodson's attorneys charge that he didn’t know that Gray was hurt when officers put him in the back of the police van without a seat belt. Goodson also said that it was the responsibility of other officers to put the seat belt on Gray.
Defense lawyers for Goodson also charged that Gray stood up in the van when police put him on his stomach.
Goodson opted for a bench trial by judge instead of a jury.
William Porter was the first of the six officers to stand trial, a date that ended in a hung jury and mistrial last December. Officer Edward Nero’s case resulted in him being acquitted on all charges.
There are four remaining court dates for the six officers. They are all expected to request bench trials as well.