Lawyers for retired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin filed a motion for a new trial on Tuesday, after he was accused of murder in the death of George Floyd last month.
Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, filed a request alleging that the ability for the former officer to have a fair trial was affected by publicity before the proceedings in the high-profile case.
The court “abused its discretion” by refusing the defense’s demands to change the venue and order a new trial, according to the petition, noting that it had refused to sequester the jurors or “admonish them to avoid all media,” making them vulnerable to prejudicial coverage as well as “jury intimidation or potential fear of retribution.”
After being seen on tape lying on Floyd’s neck for more than 9 minutes while threatening to apprehend him for reportedly using a bogus $20 bill at a grocery store on May 25, a jury found Chauvin guilty of second- and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter.
Nelson’s motion requested an order to “impeach the verdict” 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.”
Chauvin is scheduled to be convicted on June 25 and faces up to 40 years in jail for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder, and up to 10 years for manslaughter.
The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office filed a court filing on Friday demanding a longer term for Chauvin.
According to the filing, Chauvin “inflicted gratuitous pain, and caused psychological distress to Mr. Floyd and to the bystanders” at the time of his death, and Floyd was “particularly vulnerable” at the time of his death.