P. Kenneth Burns

Reporter

Kenneth Burns is WYPR's Metro Reporter; covering issues that affect Baltimore City, Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties.

Prior to joining WYPR, Kenneth worked at WBAL Radio and WNAV in Annapolis.

The Prince George's County native has been a journalist since high school. He was a teen editor with Children's Express, later becoming news editor with Young D.C., a newspaper written by high school students. He started his professional career during his first year in college at WTOP in Washington, D.C. Other career stops includes the Radio America Network and Salem Communications as a producer. He also was a news contributor to WGMD in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Kenneth, who lives in Baltimore, earned his associate's degree from Anne Arundel Community College and his bachelor's degree in political science from Towson University. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists and the Online News Association.

You can keep up with his "notebook" at kennethburns.tumblr.com and follow him on twitter @PKBNews.

Officer Caesar Goodson was acquitted Thursday of all charges against him in the police custody death of Freddie Gray.

Goodson, who drove the police van that transported Gray, faced the most serious charges in the case: second degree depraved heart murder, involuntary manslaughter, gross negligent manslaughter by vehicle, criminal negligent manslaughter by vehicle, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.

P. Kenneth Burns

Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams was sharply critical Monday morning of prosecutors who argued that Officer Caesar Goodson gave Freddie Gray a rough ride in the back of his police van that lead to a fatal spine injury.

Closing arguments in the trial of Officer Caesar Goodson are scheduled Monday morning before Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams.

Goodson faces the most serious charges in the death of Freddie Gray; second degree depraved heart murder, criminal negligent vehicular manslaughter, gross negligent vehicular manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.

But the state has had a hard time thus far proving its case against the officer it has charged.

Lawyers for Officer Caesar Goodson, on trial in the death of Freddie Gray, called Officer Edward Nero to the stand Friday.

It was the first time Nero, who was recently acquitted in the same case, returned to Courthouse East after Circuit Judge Barry Williams found him not guilty of second degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office in May.

Prosecutors and a lead detective in the Freddie Gray case clashed Thursday as Circuit Judge Barry Williams denied a motion to acquit Officer Caesar Goodson, the van driver accused of giving Gray a fatal rough ride last year.

    

Prosecutors rested their case Wednesday against police Officer Caesar Goodson who faces the most serious charges in last year’s death of Freddie Gray.   But they did so with a second witness in as many days giving testimony that conflicts with their theory that Goodson gave Gray a “rough ride” on the way to the Western District police station.

When court resumes Thursday morning, Circuit Judge Barry Williams will hear arguments on a defense motion to acquit Goodson of all the charges against him; second degree depraved heart murder, criminal negligent vehicular manslaughter, gross negligent vehicular manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office.

  Police Officer William Porter testified Monday that Officer Caesar Goodson said, “Sure,” when Porter suggested he take Freddie Gray to the hospital on April 12, 2015.

Prosecutors charged Thursday that Freddie Gray was injured because he got a “rough ride” on the way to the Western District police station at the hands of Officer Caesar Goodson.

Gray died from that injury – a broken neck – a week after his arrest in April 2015. Goodson is on trial in Gray’s death.

 

When the trial of Officer Caesar Goodson, one of six charged in the Freddie Gray case, begins Thursday morning at Courthouse East, prosecutors will be at a distinct disadvantage.

Circuit Judge Barry Williams ruled during pre-trial motions that prosecutors cannot mention a phone call between Officer William Porter and an investigator in the case in which Porter said he told Goodson that Gray “couldn’t breathe.”

The trial of Officer Caesar Goodson, the third of six Baltimore police officers charged in the death last year of Freddie Gray, begins Monday morning with motions hearings in Courthouse East. Goodson drove the van in which prosecutors say Gray suffered his fatal injuries. 

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