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Highest Ranking Officer Charged in Freddie Gray Case Chooses Bench Trial

July 05, 2016  | 

Lt. Brian Rice (Photo: Baltimore PD)
Lt. Brian Rice (Photo: Baltimore PD)

The trial of Baltimore Police Department Lt. Brian Rice began with preliminary motions, including defense requests to dismiss the charges, reports the Baltimore Sun.

Rice opted for a bench trial, with Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams deciding the outcome. In the two previous cases, Williams cleared officers who faced similar or more serious accusations.

Williams also denied a motion to dismiss the charges. The defense has filed a slew of such motions, unsuccessfully, since the charges were filed.

Rice has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. He is free on $350,000 bail.

Rice, 42, is the highest-ranking of the six officers charged in the case. The most serious charges against him stem from failing to secure Gray with a seat belt when he helped load the shackled 25-year-old into an arrest van.

Other charges relate to his role in Gray's initial arrest. Rice was on bike patrol at the Gilmor Homes complex when Gray fled police, and Rice called out for other officers to pursue him.

Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

kevcopAz @ 7/5/2016 8:16 PM

Good move considering the 0-2-1 record of these prosecutions thus far! This way a possible "mob mentality jury" wont be a possibility and a legal scholarly (hopefully) judge will rule on the merits (or lack thereof) of the case without political pressure or malice . Then once all the case are found to have been charged by a politically minded States Attorney, perhaps the Bar and the public will hold her responsible for prosecutorial misconduct.

Lt. Steve - Ret. @ 7/6/2016 4:40 AM

"The most serious charges against him stem from failing to secure Gray with a seat belt when he helped load the shackled 25-year-old into an arrest van." Since when did a possible violation of a department policy become a criminal offense? Lets just placate the street thugs even more.

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