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In Baltimore

Judge to Decide Gray Case

BALTIMORE--The police officer charged with murder in the death of Freddie Gray chose on Monday to have a bench trial, eliminating a jury from his emotionally charged case and placing the verdict in the hands of the same judge who acquitted another officer two weeks ago.

The officer, Caesar R. Goodson Jr., a veteran of Baltimore’s police force, was driving the police wagon that Mr. Gray, a 25-year-old black man, was riding in when he suffered the spinal injury that killed him. Mr. Gray’s death, in April 2015, led to violent protests in the city and became a cornerstone of the nation’s wrenching debate over the way police officers use force against minorities.

Just over a year ago, the city’s top prosecutor, Marilyn J. Mosby, charged six officers in the arrest and death of Mr. Gray--a move that effectively calmed the city but has yet to yield any convictions. The presiding judge, Barry G. Williams, granted each officer a separate trial. The first, of Officer William G. Porter, ended in December with a hung jury and led to months of delays. In the second trial, last month, Officer Edward M. Nero was acquitted by Judge Williams.

Officer Goodson faces the most serious charge--second-

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