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Goodson's actions regarding Freddie Gray came up in previous trials

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Posted at 8:06 PM, Jun 22, 2016
and last updated 2018-12-31 17:12:42-05

A verdict is due Thursday in the second-degree murder trial of Officer Caesar Goodson, who was driving the police van in which prisoner Freddie Gray was fatally injured last April. 

But Goodson's actions the day of Gray's arrest were first on trial six months ago, when Officer William Porter was on trial for Gray's death.

Goodson's actions the day of Gray's arrest featured prominently in Porter's trial with Porter’s attorneys repeatedly trying to shift the blame for Gray’s death to Goodson.

Complete Freddie Gray coverage

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

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.

Testimony in the trial of Officer Edward Nero also touched on Goodson's culpability. A witness for the defense testified it is the wagon driver's responsibility to make sure the prisoner is secured during transport.

Nero was acquitted in a bench trial last month.  

RELATED: Testimony in Officer Edward Nero's case

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.

In Goodson's trial, however, a Baltimore City detective testified that Allan initially said Gray's death could have been an accident, in direct contrast to Allan's testimony on the stand. 

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.