Derek Chauvin attorney files motion for new trial, accusing prosecution and jury of misconduct

Crime

MINNEAPOLIS (NewsNation Now) — The defense attorney for Derek Chauvin has filed a motion asking for a new trial for the former police officer who was found guilty in the murder of George Floyd.

Eric Nelson’s motion argues a new trial is valid for 10 different reasons, including prosecutorial and jury misconduct and denying a change of venue.

Chauvin, 45, was found guilty on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The second-degree murder count, the most serious charge, carries up to 40 years in prison.

Chauvin’s legal team argues in the court documents filed Tuesday that the jury should have been sequestered for the duration of the trial and told to “avoid all media which resulted in jury exposure to prejudicial publicity regarding the trial during the proceedings.”

They also argue that the court failing to order Morries Hall, a friend of George Floyd, to testify violated Chauvin’s rights under the Confrontation Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Morries Hall, who was in the car with George Floyd when police arrived and who had informed the court of his intention to invoke the fifth amendment against self-incrimination, appears via a video link from the county jail on the seventh day of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. April 6, 2021 in a still image from video. Pool via REUTERS

Hall used his Fifth Amendment rights to refuse self-incrimination from his testimony. Chauvin’s defense team had subpoenaed him to testify that Floyd took opioid pills before the arrest and appeared to fall into a deep sleep at some point.

There was speculation that the comments from California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters and the interview given by a juror on ABC’s Good Morning America could give the defense stronger grounds in an appeal or request a new trial.

Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was declared dead after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against his neck for about nine minutes on May 25. Floyd was arrested on suspicion of using a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes at a convenience store. His death sparked protests and civil unrest in Minneapolis and across the U.S. over police brutality, at points turning violent.

Read the full motion below:

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