4th Baltimore Police officer being tried in Freddie Gray case opts for bench trial
BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- On Tuesday morning Lt. Brian Rice went to court, facing manslaughter charges in the death of Freddie Gray, and opted for a bench trial.
Rice is the highest ranking officer accused in the death of Gray and also faces charges of second degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.
Court began with his scheduled pre-trial hearing, at which his defense team called on Judge Barry Williams to dismiss the case. The request was dismissed and Judge Williams told prosecutors they will be unable to use 4,000 pages of Rice's training records because copies were not turned over to the defense in time.
Rice's team argued that they only recently obtained the documents, but Judge Williams said they should have used subpoena power to get the records from police months ago.
The state says Rice was among the arresting officers who loaded Gray into the police van on the day of his arrest and claim Rice contributed to Gray's death when he failed to buckle him into a seatbelt.
Rice is the fourth Baltimore Police officer to stand trial in the case, and follows two acquittals and one mistrial. Officers Caesar Goodson and Edward Nero were found not guilty of all charges and William Porter, the first to be tried, had his trial end with a hung jury. Both Goodson and Nero chose bench trials.
According to the Associated Press, Lt. Rice was a 17-year veteran of the Baltimore Police Dept. at the time of Gray's arrest and is currently suspended without pay. The AP adds that Rice was hospitalized over mental health concerns and was placed on administrative suspensions twice, once in 2012 and then again in 2013.
The Associated Press contributed to this report