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Minnesota Supreme Court denies Derek Chauvin’s public defender request

The justices viewed the convicted murderer’s debts and assets and deemed that he was ineligible for a public defender.

Derek Chauvin Minnesota Department of Corrections

The Minnesota Supreme Court has denied Derek Chauvin’s request for a public defender to represent him as he appeals his murder conviction and sentence in the death of George Floyd.

On Wednesday (Oct. 6), Chief Justice Lorie Gildea wrote that Chauvin had not proven that he is entitled to a public defender. The justices viewed the convicted murderer's debts and assets and deemed that he was ineligible. However, the Supreme Court stated that he may seek a public defender in the future if he cannot pay for a lawyer.

Last month, Chauvin filed documents saying that he planned to appeal his conviction and sentence on 14 grounds, including that the jury should have been sequestered and that his trial should have been moved from Hennepin County.

He also filed an affidavit saying that he has no lawyer in the appeals process and no income aside from what he earns in prison. The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association previously paid for his trial, but have cut ties with Chauvin since he was found guilty.

“I have been informed that their obligation to pay for my representation terminated upon my conviction and sentencing,” the former Minneapolis police officer wrote.

Back in April, Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for his involvement in Floyd’s death. He was subsequently sentenced to serve 22 and a half years behind bars.

Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao are also facing federal charges for violating Floyd’s civil rights when he was pinned to the ground for more than nine minutes last year. Additionally, the ex-cops were indicted for failing to render aid to Floyd as he begged to breathe.

If convicted, the four men could face up to 10 years in jail. Chauvin would be able to serve his time in conjunction with his current sentence. They have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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