Officer Edward Nero Opts for Bench Trial, to Begin Thursday

Officer Edward M. Nero, one of the six Baltimore police officers charged in the arrest of Freddie Gray, formally elected to have a bench trial, which will begin Thursday morning in a downtown courtroom.

Prosecutors and Nero’s defense attorneys appeared before Circuit Judge Barry G. Williamsat a pre-trial hearing Tuesday to discuss a range of written motions filed in advance of the trial’s start this week.

The hearing began with Nero’s selection of a bench trial, which his attorney, Marc Zayon, said they had discussed “a million times.”

Williams, who will now be the sole decider of Nero’s guilt or innocence, said arguments in the case could conclude as early as next week — setting the stage for the first verdict in the closely watched proceedings.


Williams said he was satisfied that Nero understood the implications of his choice and that it is difficult to reverse that decision.