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Baltimore Officer Nero doesn't testify; defense rests in Freddie Gray trial

By Andrew V. Pestano
Baltimore Officer Nero doesn't testify; defense rests in Freddie Gray trial
Baltimore Officer Edward Nero chose not to testify on Wednesday as his defense team rested its case. Witnesses for the defense testified Tuesday that Nero was a rookie police officer and as such wasn't properly trained on how to transport detainees in a police van. Photo courtesy of Baltimore Police Department

BALTIMORE, May 19 (UPI) -- The defense for Edward Nero rested on Wednesday after the Baltimore police officer chose not to testify in his trial over the death of Freddie Gray.

"I wish to remain silent," Nero said during trial.

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Officer William G. Porter, whose case related to the Gray case was declared a mistrial in December, was not called testified on Wednesday but Officer Garrett Miller, a co-defendant, testified once again. Miller initially testified on Monday as a prosecution witness.

Closing arguments were scheduled for Thursday. Maryland Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams said he will issue a verdict in Nero's trial Monday morning.

Nero, who doesn't face manslaughter charges for Gray's death, is accused of putting Gray in a dangerous situation. Nero pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault and misconduct charges, both misdemeanors, related to Gray's arrest, and reckless endangerment and misconduct based on the way Gray was loaded into a police transport van.

Gray sustained a fatal spinal injury while being driven in a van after his arrest. His death sparked weeks of peaceful demonstrations, riots and looting in Baltimore, and amplified the Black Lives Matter movement nationwide.

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Nero on Tuesday was described during witness testimony as a young police officer who was improperly trained.

Amy R. Connolly contributed to this report.

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