Officer Caesar Goodson, Facing the Most Serious Charges in Death of Freddie Gray, Heads to Trial

The Baltimore police officer who faces the most serious charges in the death ofFreddie Gray is headed to trial this week.

Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr. drove the van in which the medical examiner ruled that the 25-year-old West Baltimore man suffered a fatal spinal injury in April 2015. Alone among the six Baltimore officers accused in Gray’s arrest and death, he has been charged with murder.

Goodson, 46, is expected to elect a jury trial this week on charges that include what’s known as depraved-heart murder, a second-degree charge that carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

He also faces three counts of manslaughter and charges of second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. The trial comes two weeks after OfficerEdward M. Nero was acquitted in a bench trial of four misdemeanor counts related to Gray’s arrest.

Motions in the case will be heard Monday, and jury selection could begin thereafter.

Goodson’s case presents a unique challenge for prosecutors in that he was the only one of the six officers who did not give a statement to investigators. The trial is expected to feature medical experts giving contrasting opinions over exactly how and when Gray was injured.