Chauvin Moves to Have Guilty Verdicts Thrown Out, Asks for New Trial

Chauvin Week 3

Derek Chauvin’s attorney filed a motion asking the court to throw out his guilty verdicts and schedule a new trial Tuesday.

The filing, made by Attorney Eric Nelson, cites jury intimidation and a failure of the court to sequester the jury as some of the reasons he is asking for a new trial.

In the filing, Nelson argues that the court “abused its discretion” when it denied his motion for a change of venue from Hennepin County, when it denied his request for a sequestered jury, and when it denied his request for a new trial on the basis of high levels of publicity in the case.

The filing claims the jury was exposed to “prejudicial publicity” about the trial and says “jury intimidation” and “potential fear of retribution” also violated Chauvin’s right to a fair trial.

Nelson also took aim at the state’s prosecutors, accusing them of misconduct. He argues they disparaged the defense and failed to prepare its witnesses among other things.

Nelson goes on to argue for a new trial because the court did not order a record of the sidebars be made, did not give the jury adequate instructions and did not order witness Morries Hall to testify during the trial, the filing says.

Nelson asked for a hearing to “impeach the verdict” in this case 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, in violation of Mr. Chauvin’s constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial.”

Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter last month for the killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day, 2020 in south Minneapolis.

This motion from the defense was expected before Chauvin’s scheduled sentencing in June.

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