Gray was arrested last year and died during a police transport to jail. Prosecutors said his neck was broken after officers bound his hands and feet and put him in the back of the police van without a seatbelt.
Goodson, who drove the van and was accused of deliberately giving Gray a “rough ride” to teach him a lesson, was charged with six crimes, including a charge of second-degree depraved-heart murder. He was acquitted on all counts.
“The state failed to prove the defendant knew or should have known that Mr. Gray needed medical care,” the judge said.
“Unlike in a shooting or a stabbing, or a car accident, this injury manifests itself internally,” Williams said, citing conflicting testimony from medical experts. “If the doctors weren’t clear, how would a person without medical training know?”
The judge also said the state failed to prove Goodson gave Gray a “rough ride.”
“The state had a duty to show the defendant corruptly failed in his duty, not just that he made a mistake,” the judge said.
Goodson, who faced the most serious charges of all the officers involved in the arrest and transport of Gray, is the third officer to win an acquittal. Officers Edward Nero and William Porter also avoided liability in their trials earlier this year.