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Highest ranking officer in Freddie Gray case opts for trial by judge instead of jury

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Baltimore Police Lt. Brian Rice, center, arrives at Courthouse East Tuesday, July 5, 2016 in Baltimore for a pretrial hearing related to the arrest and death of Freddie Gray. Rice's lawyers said Tuesday that he has chosen to be tried instead by a judge, the same one who acquitted two fellow officers in Freddie Gray's death. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun via AP)
Baltimore Police Lt. Brian Rice, center, arrives at Courthouse East Tuesday, July 5, 2016 in Baltimore for a pretrial hearing related to the arrest and death of Freddie Gray. Rice’s lawyers said Tuesday that he has chosen to be tried instead by a judge, the same one who acquitted two fellow officers in Freddie Gray’s death. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun via AP)

BALTIMORE – Prosecutors could have an uphill battle trying Baltimore Police Lt. Brian Rice in the death of Freddie Gray.

The judge says they can’t use 4,000 pages of Rice’s training records as evidence because they didn’t turn copies over to the defense in time.

Judge Barry Williams will begin trying Rice Thursday on charges of manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in the young black man’s death.

Prosecutors say they only recently acquired the records from police, but the judge said they should have used subpoena power to get them months ago.

The judge refused a defense request to dismiss the case entirely.

Rice, like two other officers tried before him, waived his right to a jury, putting his fate in the judge’s hands instead. Last month, Williams acquitted officers Edward Nero and Caesar Goodson, saying he saw no evidence that a crime was committed in Gray’s death.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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