Freddie Gray trial: Defense rests for Baltimore officer Rice; verdict near

BALTIMORE, July 12 (UPI) — The defense team for Baltimore police Lt. Brian Rice rested its case on Tuesday, meaning a verdict in the latest trial related to the death of Freddie Gray is possibly just days away.

Rice’s lawyers called four witnesses to the stand Tuesday, including two medical experts who countered the view of prosecution experts, calling Gray’s death an accident and not a homicide.

Closing arguments are expected Thursday with Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams saying his ruling would come “shortly thereafter.”

Rice, 42, the highest ranking officer of the six charged in the case, is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.

The second-degree assault and a second misconduct charge have already been dropped and legal experts question whether the state can make much of a case against Rice after two of his fellow officers have previously been acquitted.

“We are left in a position that feels very familiar,” University of Baltimore law professor David Jaros said. “There does not seem to be a great deal to differentiate [this case from] the cases that came before.”

Officer William Porter’s trial ended in a mistrial in December and officers Edward Nero and Caesar Goodson Jr. were acquitted earlier this year.

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