Chauvin’s lawyer seeks new trial, impeachment of verdict

US & World

FILE – In this April 20, 2021 file image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd,, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. Nelson has requested a new trial, saying the court abused its discretion when it refused to change the venue in the original proceedings, according to a court document filed Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Court TV via AP, Pool, File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The defense attorney for the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of killing George Floyd has requested a new trial, saying the court abused its discretion on several points and that the verdict should be impeached because of jury misconduct, according to a court document filed Tuesday.

Derek Chauvin, who is white, was convicted last month of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the May 25 death of Floyd. Evidence at trial showed Chauvin pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for 9 1/2 minutes as the Black man said he couldn’t breathe and went motionless.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson cited many reasons in his request for a new trial. He said Judge Peter Cahill abused the discretion of the court and violated Chauvin’s right to due process and a fair trial when he denied Nelson’s request to move the trial to another county due to pretrial publicity.

He also said Cahill abused his discretion when he denied an earlier request for a new trial based on publicity during the proceedings, which Nelson said threatened the fairness of the trial.

Nelson also took issue with Cahill’s refusal to sequester the jury for the trial or admonish them to avoid all media, and with his refusal to allow a man who was with Floyd at the time of his arrest to testify.

Nelson asked the judge to impeach the verdict on the grounds that the jury committed misconduct, felt pressured, 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.

The brief did not mention recent reports that one of the jurors participated in an Aug. 28 march in Washington, D.C., to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.

That juror, Brandon Mitchell, has defended his actions, saying the event was to commemorate the 1963 March on Washington and was not a protest over Floyd’s death. Floyd’s brother and sister, Philonise and Bridgett Floyd, and relatives of others who had been shot by police addressed the crowd at the march last summer.

Nelson did not immediately return a message seeking details on his allegation of juror misconduct.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Download Mobile Apps from WPRI 12
DOWNLOAD APPS NOW: Apple App Store | Google Play Store

12 on 12 - Cold Case Cards: All In

More Cold Case Cards All In
PINPOINT WEATHER // Quick Links:

Coronavirus: Complete Coverage

More Coronavirus

Dan Yorke State of Mind: Dan's Daily Update

DYSOM 5/7/2021: Lt. Governor Sabina Matos

More Dan Yorke State of Mind

Don't Miss

Viewer Pa on WPRI.com

LIVE CAMS on WPRI.com

More Live Cams