The former Minneapolis police officer who was charged with murder for the death of George Floyd filed a motion for a new trial on Tuesday (May 4).
According to multiple reports, Attorney Eric Nelson, who represents Derek Chauvin, filed the request alleging that his client’s ability to have a fair trial was affected by the case’s publicity. The motion says the court abused its discretion by denying their requests for the trial to be moved outside of Minneapolis.
Because the court declined to isolate the jury or “admonish them to avoid all media,” they were not only subjected to prejudicial publicity but also “jury intimidation or potential fear of retribution,” Nelson said.
Nelson also accused Minnesota state prosecutors of committing “pervasive, prejudicial prosecutorial misconduct” that affected Chauvin’s right to receive a fair trial. The filing requested that Chauvin’s guilty verdict is impeached based 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.”
Last month, Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for Floyd’s death after he held his knee on his neck for more than nine minutes.
His murder trial took place over the course of three weeks. The 12-person jury listened to 45 witnesses, including people who were there when Floyd was killed and medical experts who watched the video of Chauvin restraining him.
Chauvin is facing up to 40 years behind bars for his most serious charge. The maximum sentence for third-degree murder is imprisonment up to 25 years and the maximum sentence for second-degree manslaughter is 10 years and/or a $20,000 fine. The former cop does not have a prior criminal record, so the chances of him receiving the max sentence are unlikely. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 25.