The state trial for former police officers Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng in the killing of George Floyd has been delayed to the beginning of next year.
On Monday, the attorneys representing both former Minneapolis police officers were denied a venue change by Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill. But, Cahill granted them a rescheduling for a joint trial set to begin on Jan. 5, 2023. Jury selection will take place on Jan. 9, 2023, according to court records.
The trial was originally set to begin June 14 with opening statements beginning on July 5.
Kueng and Thao are each charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter in relation to Floyd's death. Their fellow ex-officer, Thomas Lane, accepted a plea deal earlier last month, which means he will avoid a state trial. Lane will serve three years in prison, according to his agreement.
Court documents show that the attorneys representing Kueng and Thao have argued for a venue change due to the ongoing publicity the case has had, including this year marking the second-year anniversary of Floyd's death.
The state has argued that the pair are seeking "to hamstring the State and leave the jury with a skewed account of what occurred," further stating that the "motions have nothing to do with promoting trial efficiency or ensuring the jury receives an accurate account of the events that occurred" in May 2020.
Cahill didn't budge with his decision to keep the venue the same, explaining that the pretrial coverage and the trial itself was covered all throughout Minnesota, making it pointless to move.
Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years for the murder of Floyd last year.