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Prosecution Rests Case Against Officer in Death of Freddie Gray

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AP

Prosecutors rested their case on Tuesday against the Baltimore police officer charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray, multiple newspapers report.

Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died on April 19 a week after his neck was broken during a 45-minute ride in the back of a police van, which included six stops.

His death sparked protests across Baltimore that occasionally turned violent. At one point, the National Guard was called in to restore order to the city.

Officer William Porter has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment and faces 25 years in prison if convicted of all charges, according to the Associated Press.

Prosecutors have accused Porter of failing to get Gray prompt medical attention when he asked for help and failing to buckle him into a seatbelt. Porter’s attorneys have argued that Porter didn’t realize how injured Gray was.

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During the trial, medical experts have testified that Gray would have survived if he had been wearing a seatbelt and received quick medical attention.

“If the paramedic had gotten there, he would not have suffered the brain injury that ultimately killed him,” Dr. Morris Marc Soriano, an Illinois neurosurgeon, testified, according to CNN. “His brain would have likely survived if that breathing tube had been put in immediately.”

Assistant Medical Examiner Dr. Carol Allan also testified that Gray was most likely injured sometime between the second and fourth stops of the van, the Baltimore Sun reports. Allan told jurors that she wouldn’t have ruled Gray’s death a homicide if Porter or the van’s driver, Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., had gotten him medical help at the fourth stop.

Shortly after the prosecution rested, defense attorneys for Porter asked for the case to be dismissed against the 26-year-old black officer, who is the first of six officers to be tried in Gray’s death, The New York Times reports.

Gary Proctor, one of Porter’s defense attorneys, said there was no testimony that what Officer Porter did was any sort of deviation from what a reasonable police officer would do, according to the Times. Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry G. Williams denied the defense motion.

In September, The family of Gray reached a $6.4 million settlement with the city of Baltimore.

The defense will begin its case Wednesday morning.