Jury selection for Derek Chauvin’s trial was paused on Monday (March 8) just as proceedings were set to begin. The delay arrives amidst the possible reinstatement of Chauvin’s third-degree murder charge, which the Minnesota Court of Appeals told Judge Peter Cahill to consider last week.
Cahill dropped the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin, who is also charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, in October. Prosecutors appealed this decision, citing the third-degree murder conviction of former officer Mohamed Noor, who fatally shot Justine Ruszczyk Damond in 2017.
In a pre-trial hearing Monday, Chauvin’s defense attorney said he would appeal the appellate court’s decision on the charge to the Minnesota Supreme Court. In turn, prosecutors asked Cahill to pause jury selection and the start of the trial until the appeals process is complete.
Cahill agreed to halt proceedings and sent prospective jurors home for the day. He said the court would reconvene tomorrow (March 9) at 10 a.m. CST.
“We have jurors, but realistically, we’re not going to get an answer [from the Minnesota Court of Appeals] until tomorrow,” he said.
The court will now recess until tomorrow, but other motions will continue to be heard at 1:30 p.m. CST.
As reported by REVOLT, jury selection was set to begin this morning prior to the delay. According to CBS Minnesota, jury selection for the trial is expected to take three weeks with opening statements scheduled to begin on March 29. The court will select 12 jurors and four alternates, all of whom must be at least 18 years old and residents of Hennepin County.
Before they can be added to the jury, potential jurors will have to fill out a 16-page questionnaire about their knowledge of the high-profile case, including asking if they watched the horrifying video of Floyd’s fatal arrest. Other questions will reportedly ask jurors about their media habits, experiences with systemic racism and whether or not they have any connections to police.