Chauvin’s Attorney Files Motion for New Trial

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Posted: May 05, 2021 7:15 AM
Chauvin’s Attorney Files Motion for New Trial

Source: Court TV via AP, Pool

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s defense attorney filed a motion on Tuesday for a new trial on several grounds, including that there were abuses of discretion preventing his client from receiving a fair trial.

Chauvin was found guilty last month of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death. 

“The Court abused its discretion when it failed to sequester the jury for the duration of the trial, or in the least, admonish them to avoid all media, which resulted in jury exposure to prejudicial publicity regarding the trial during the proceedings, as well as jury intimidation and potential fear of retribution among jurors, which violated Mr. Chauvin’s constitutional rights to due process and to a fair trial,” according to the court filing. 

Additionally, attorney Eric Nelson said Chauvin’s constitutional rights were violated by not allowing the trial to take place outside of Hennepin County. He also pointed to jury misconduct and said the judge abused the discretion of the court.

Nelson also asked the judge for a hearing to impeach the verdict on the grounds that the jury committed misconduct, felt race-based pressure, felt intimidated or threatened, and/or failed to adhere to jury instructions, though the filing did not include details about that assertion. To impeach a verdict is to question its validity. (AP)

According to CBS Minnesota, a spokesman from Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison's office said in a statement on Tuesday that "the court has already rejected many of these arguments and the State will vigorously oppose them.”

The filing did not include recent reports that one of the jurors participated in a March on Washington, where Floyd's family spoke, to honor MLK Jr., and photos of him from that event show him wearing a shirt that read "Get Your Knee Off Our Necks" and a BLM hat. On a jury questionnaire he responded "no" to a question about when he or someone close to him "participated in protests about police use of fore or police brutality." The juror has defended his actions.