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More testimony in trial for van driver in Freddie Gray death

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Posted at 8:01 AM, Jun 13, 2016
and last updated 2018-12-31 14:36:38-05
Baltimore Police Officer William Porter took the stand Monday in the trial of Officer Caesar Goodson, the third of six police officers to go to trial for the death of Freddie Gray. 
 
Goodson faces second-degree murder, manslaughter and other charges in Gray's death. Gray, 25, died after his neck was broken in the back of the van Goodson was driving last April.
 
His bench trial began Thursday.
 
 
Prosecutors say Goodson gave Gray a "rough ride" in the van, where he was left handcuffed and shackled but unrestrained by a seat belt. They also say Goodson was negligent when he failed to call for medical aid. Goodson's attorneys say the officer drove carefully and followed orders.
 
Porter, whose own trial in the case ended in mistrial in December, testified Monday on whether Goodson had the opportunity to belt Gray in. Porter was granted immunity for his testimony. His second trial is scheduled to begin this summer.
 
A big point of Porter's testimony was his telling Goodson at the van's fourth stop that Freddie Gray should be taken to the hospital. 
 
Porter testified that when he was assisting Freddie Gray to the bench in the van, he didn't see blood or cuts, and Gray turned head.
 
A big foundation of the defense's case is that prisoners who claim they need a hospital get an automatic reprieve from Central Booking.
 
A neurosurgeon called as an expert witness by prosecutors testified Monday afternoon that Gray not getting medical attention earlier is what contributed to his death. 
 
Dr. Morris Marc Soriano, who also testified in Porter's trial, said a failure to seatbelt Gray also contributed to his death. 
 
"There is no question Freddie Gray would have benefited from prompt medical attention...would have been life saving for him," Soriano said.

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WMAR Staff contributed to this report.