What's next in Freddie Gray case: The ripple effect of Goodson's acquittal

Posted at 6:28 PM, Jun 24, 2016
and last updated 2018-12-31 14:30:09-05

Seven of the most serious charges brought and all seven charges dismissed.

Not guilty on all counts and the wagon driver in the Freddie Gray case, Caesar Goodson, goes free.

"Well I think they have to reassess,” said University of Baltimore Associate Law Professor David Jaros said of the prosecution, “Not whether or not they believe a crime occurred, but whether or not they have the evidence they need to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt in court."

The state took about 20 witnesses to persuade Judge Barry Williams that Goodson not only was aware of the risk to Gray, but recklessly disregarded it and his life.

It was a powerful charge from a powerful prosecutor, but as Marilyn Mosby has found, the court of public opinion has no bearing on Judge Williams' bench.

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One hung jury and two acquittals later legal observers say Mosby's office should be thinking long and hard about the upcoming prosecution of Lieutenant Brian Rice in a week's time and the three that follow.

"I think part of the question is at what point do you reconsider where you're at?” asked Jaros, "If there is no other smoking gun out there, I think they have to ask themselves whether or not they have any chance of proving their case beyond a reasonable doubt."

While some may re-evaluate, yesterday's verdict only sharpens the cases for others.

Five of the officers have filed defamation suits against Mosby and the attorney who represents both Officer William Porter and Sgt. Alicia White says Goodson's unanimous acquittal only helps prove his argument that the charges were baseless and politically driven.

"The damages they've sustained both economically as well as the mental stress and emotional trauma has been significant," said attorney Michael Glass.

Lt. Brian Rice’s trial is scheduled to begin just after the Fourth of July holiday.

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