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Derek Chauvin Files Motion For New Trial In George Floyd Case Due To Alleged Jury Misconduct

derek chauvin motion new trial george floyd case
Source: MEGA

May. 5 2021, Updated 10:34 a.m. ET

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Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has filed a motion for a new trial on Tuesday, May 4, after he was convicted last month of the murder of George Floyd

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The four-page document, filed by attorney Eric Nelson, alleges the pretrial publicity affected Chauvin's right to a fair trial and that the court denied requests for a new venue and change of venue.

Nelson's filing claimed that the court did not "admonish them [the jurors] to avoid all media," or hide them from "jury intimidation or potential fear of retribution," NBC News reported. "The publicity here was so pervasive and so prejudicial before and during this trial that it amounted to a structural defect in the proceedings," Nelson wrote. 

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The filing accuses Minnesota state prosecutors of committing "pervasive, prejudicial prosecutorial misconduct," negatively impacting Chauvin's right to a fair trial. 

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There are eight allegations of abuses of discretion by the court in the motion. 

The motion requested an order "to impeach the verdict" on "the grounds that the jury committed misconduct, felt threatened or intimidated, felt race-based pressure during the proceedings, and/or failed to adhere to instructions during deliberations."

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Nelson also claimed that it was unconstitutional when the court reportedly did not have Morries Hall, who was with Floyd on the day of his death, testify. "The Court abused its discretion and violated Mr. Chauvin’s rights under the Confrontation Clause when it failed to order Morries Hall to testify, or in the alternative, to admit into evidence Mr. Hall’s statements to law enforcement regarding his interactions with George Floyd and presence at the May 25, 2020 incident," Nelson wrote. 

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Hall reportedly invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying, but had made statements to police that were not revealed to jurors. Nelson attempted to have the statements read in court, according to Fox News

"The court has already rejected many of these arguments and the State will vigorously oppose them," John Stiles, deputy chief of staff for Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison, said in a statement.

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Last month Chauvin was found guilty on all three charges: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Chauvin could face up to 40 years behind bars for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder and up to 10 years for second-degree manslaughter; the sentencing will take place next month.

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On May 25, 2020, Floyd was killed in Minneapolis after he was arrested on suspicion of using a counterfeit bill. Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds after he was handcuffed and lying face down. 

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Last week, a juror spoke out and said the evidence was "overwhelming" and that the jury's decision was not influenced by external forces. "It didn’t have to do with pressure from anywhere," Brandon Mitchell told TODAY

"We all walked in with an open mind, and we left with a guilty verdict," the 31-year-old said. 

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