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A look back at testimony in Freddie Gray trial

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Posted at 8:30 AM, Mar 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-03 22:50:06-05

The actions of Officer Caesar Goodson the day of Freddie Gray’s arrest featured prominently in the trial of Officer William Porter, with Porter’s attorneys repeatedly trying to shift the blame for Gray’s death to Goodson.

Now, a separate court battle is brewing over whether Porter should be forced to testify in Goodson’s trial and the trials of the other four officers charged in Gray’s death.

RELATED: Porter testimony on hold for now

The Maryland Court of Appeals will hear arguments Thursday over whether Porter should be compelled to testify. The state’s cases against Goodson, Sgt. Alicia White, Lt. Brian Rice and Officers Edward Nero and Garrett Miller are on hold pending the court’s decision.

Complete Freddie Gray coverage

Meanwhile, Porter’s first trial ended with a hung jury, and he is scheduled to have a second trial in June.

Here are some key moments where Porter’s defense pointed to Goodson as being culpable.

Who should have called for a medic?

Much of the testimony in Porter’s trial focused on when Gray asked for a medic and who was responsible for calling one.

Porter’s defense team argued it was the van driver’s responsibility. Goodson was driving the van in which Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury on April 12.

Chief Timothy J. Longo, head of the police department in Charlottesville, Va. and a retired commander in the Baltimore Police Department, testified that Porter did everything right by telling Goodson to take Gray to the hospital, then by telling White, his supervisor.

"At the point Mr. Gray was placed in the back of that van, the van driver had custody," Longo testified.

Could Gray’s death have been avoided?

Dr. Carol Allan, the chief medical examiner who performed Gray’s autopsy, testified that if Goodson had immediately listened to Porter when he said Gray was asking for a medic, Gray’s death would not have been ruled a homicide.

Who was responsible for restraining Gray?

Officer John Bilheimer, a former police academy instructor testified under cross-examination by Porter’s defense that the responsibility for making sure the arrestee is properly restrained in a seatbelt is that of the driver of the vehicle.

He acknowledged when asked by the prosecution, however, that the driver isn’t the only one responsible.

Porter’s defense also noted that Porter informed White that Gray called for a medic when the van stopped at Pennsylvania and North avenues, yet still no medic was called.

Could Porter have ordered Goodson to take action?

“You should probably take this dude to the hospital,” Porter recalled telling Goodson in his interview with internal affairs detectives, which was played during his trial.

But his comments may not have carried much weight. Porter testified during his trial that Goodson was his equal in the police department, and therefore, he had no power over him.