BALTIMORE, May 10 (UPI) -- One of the six Baltimore police officers charged in the arrest of Freddie Gray has opted for a bench trial, instead of a trial by jury.
Officer Edward M. Nero will let Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams decide whether to convict him of the charges in a trial to begin Thursday -- not a jury.
Nero, who appeared at a pre-trial hearing Tuesday, is charged with second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of misconduct in office -- all misdemeanors. He was one of three bicycle officers involved in Gray's arrest on April 12, 2015.
Gray, 25, died one week later.
Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby filed charges against the six officers on May 1, weeks after widespread protests in Baltimore.
Officer William Porter was the first officer to stand trial, but the 12-member jury panel was unable to reach a consensus on any of the four charges against him and a mistrial was declared.
The other five officers, including Porter again, are scheduled to be tried during the next six months.
Nero has not been charged in Gray's death.
Williams said Tuesday he will allow discussion of Gray's injuries, but not "step by step" discussion by medical experts.
"The prosecutors' case is based on a somewhat novel legal theory, that the police officers didn't have the authority to place Mr. Gray under arrest and therefore their touching him and using force upon him is unjustified," David Jaros, an associate professor of Law at the University of Baltimore, told WMAR-TV in Baltimore.
Warren Alperstein, an attorney following these cases, told WMAR-TV, "We're definitely in uncharted territory. It is very rare that officers who appear to have been acting in good faith ultimately get charged, arrested and prosecuted for their actions," Alperstein said.