Officer in Freddie Gray case chooses bench trial

The six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray. From left to right, top row: Officer Caesar R. Goodson, Jr.; Officer Garrett E. Miller; Officer Edward M. Nero. Left to right, bottom row: Officer William G. Porter; Lt. Brian W. Rice; and Sgt. Alicia D. White.

A Baltimore police officer charged in the Freddie Gray case has chosen a trial before a judge rather than a jury.

Officer Edward Nero faces assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office charges in Gray’s arrest in 2015. Gray was a 25-year-old black man who died after he was injured in a police van.

Nero’s trial is scheduled to begin Thursday and is expected to last about five days.

Nero’s decision means Circuit Judge Barry Williams will hear the case. Nero is the second officer to stand trial. Late last year, the judge declared a mistrial in the case against Officer William Porter after a jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision.

The judge also ruled on several motions, saying attorneys can’t talk about the legality of the knife that Gray had on him when he was arrested or about Gray’s troubled past. The judge also put limits on how much the attorneys can talk about Gray’s injuries.

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