The lawyer for convicted former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin filed a motion to retry the case Tuesday claiming the court deprived his client of a fair trial as prescribed by the US Constitution.
Last month, a jury found Chauvin guilty on three charges, including second and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, following the death of George Floyd last summer.
On Tuesday, Chauvin’s defense attorney Eric Nelson filed a motion claiming there was significant “prosecutorial and jury misconduct,” in addition to “errors of law at trial; and a verdict that is contrary to law.”
Here are a list of ways the court “deprived the Defendant of a fair trial,” according to Nelson, as reported by KARE11.com:
- Denial of a change of venue
- Publicity surrounding the case
- Failure to sequester the jury
- Prosecutorial misconduct by allegedly disparaging the defense and failing to adequately prepare witnesses
- The court’s failure to order testimony from Morries Hall, who was with George Floyd on the day of his death
- Jury instructions that “failed to accurately reflect the law” on the murder charges
- Allowing the state to “present cumulative evidence” on use of force
- The court allowed the state to “lead witnesses on direct examination”
- The court failed to order a record of “numerous sidebars that occurred during the trial”
Nelson says, “The cumulative effect of the multiple errors in these proceedings deprived Mr. Chauvin of a fair trial, in violation of his constitutional rights.”
Nelson’s motion also reportedly asked the court to “impeach” the verdict citing “jury misconduct,” after reports surfaced Tuesday that juror Brandon Mitchell had attended at least one BLM rally while wearing a shirt that read “Get your knee off our necks” prior to serving on the jury.
Mitchell’s attendance at the “Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” rally in August 2020 would be a basis to argue that the jury was not impartial, and a judge could declare a mistrial based on answers he gives during a Schwartz hearing.
“[T]he jury committed misconduct, felt threatened or intimidated, felt race-based pressure during the proceedings, and/or failed to adhere to instructions during deliberations, in violation of Mr. Chauvin’s constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial,” Nelson writes, without specifically naming Mitchell.
A statement from the Minnesota Attorney General’s office refuted Nelson’s appeal: “The court has already rejected many of these arguments and the State will vigorously oppose them.”