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Derek Chauvin's attorney files motion for a new trial

Chauvin was convicted of the murder and manslaughter of George Floyd last month.
derek chauvin court - closing arguments

The attorney of Derek Chauvin has filed a motion for a new trial.

Eric Nelson, whose client was convicted on all counts for the murder and manslaughter of George Floyd last May, has cited several reasons for why a new trial should be held.

Nelson's arguments are:

  • The court "abused its discretion" when it denied a venue change for the trial, which was held in Hennepin County District Court.
  • The court wrongly denied a motion for a new trial made by Nelson during the hearing, with Nelson claiming the publicity surrounding the case "threatened the fairness of the trial," also citing "post-testimony, but predeliberation, intimidation of the defense’s expert witnesses."
  • The court should have sequestered the jury for the entire trial, and claims that it should at the very least have admonished them "to avoid all media" (the jury was told to avoid media reports about the case during the trial).
  • The prosecution committed "misconduct " by "disparaging the Defense; improper vouching; and failing to adequately prepare its witnesses."
  • Morries Hall, Floyd's friend who pleaded the 5th Amendment to avoid self-incrimination – as Chauvin did – should have been ordered to testify, or the details of what he told police should have been submitted into evidence.
  • He also claims the judge failed submit accurate instructions to the jury regarding 2nd and 3rd degree murder charges, and says the court should not have allowed the prosecution to "present cumulative evidence with respect to use of force."
  • He claims "the jury committed misconduct, felt threatened or intimidated, felt race-based pressure during the proceedings, and/or failed to adhere to instructions during deliberations."

You can read the full motion here.

Judge Peter Cahill had denied a motion for a retrial during proceedings after comments made by California Rep. Maxine Waters, who told reporters that in the event of a "not guilty" verdict, activists should "stay on the street" and "get more confrontational," though she later said she was in reference to pushing for legislation and calling for policing changes.

It's not clear if any of the jury members were aware of Waters' comments, which came two days before deliberations started. Cahill said he didn't believe her comments represented "additional material that would prejudice this jury," noting that "a congresswoman's opinion really doesn't matter a whole lot."

He did however suggest her comments could be used in a future appeal against Chauvin's conviction.

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