source: Baltimore Sun
published: 11 July 2016
A judge dropped one of four charges Monday against Baltimore police Lt. Brian Rice in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, ruling prosecutors had not presented enough evidence to prove second-degree assault after three days of witness testimony.
Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams made the decision at the trial’s midpoint — after the prosecution rested its case, but before Rice’s attorneys launched into his defense — by partially granting a defense motion for acquittal.
He denied the motion as it pertained to involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct charges, though he said his decision on the reckless endangerment count was an “extremely close call.”
Such motions are seldom granted, in part because judges have to consider the charges in the “light most favorable to the state,” as Williams noted. But in this case, he said, he was “simply not satisfied” that prosecutors had proved assault based on their theory of how it occurred.