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Derek Chauvin’s defense attorney files motions to throw out guilty verdict, seeks new trial

Derek Chauvin

Attorney Eric Nelson is claiming prosecutorial and jury misconduct in the former MPD officer’s trial in the death of George Floyd.

MINNEAPOLIS — Derek Chauvin’s defense attorney has filed a motion seeking a new trial, and requesting that the court throw out Chauvin’s conviction for the murder of George Floyd.

A jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter last month in Floyd’s May 2020 death.

In a court filing Tuesday, attorney Eric Nelson claims “prosecutorial and jury misconduct” in the case, as well as “errors of law at trial; and a verdict that is contrary to law.”

In the portion of the motion requesting a new trial, Nelson cites multiple errors by the court and prosecutors that he claims “deprived the Defendant of a fair trial,” including:

  • 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”

“The cumulative effect of the multiple errors in these proceedings deprived Mr. Chauvin of a fair trial, in violation of his constitutional rights,” Nelson wrote in the motion.

RELATED: Derek Chauvin found guilty of murder, manslaughter in death of George Floyd

In addition, Nelson also requests that the jury’s verdict be thrown out, claiming “the 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.”

The motion comes after growing public scrutiny surrounding one of the jurors, Brandon Mitchell, after photos emerged showing his attendance in an August 2020 event in Washington, DC, where he appeared to be wearing a T-shirt with the words “Get your knee off our necks.”

RELATED: Chauvin juror defends participation in Washington, DC protest

Nelson’s motion does not specifically name Mitchell or cite that incident in the filing.

Prosecutors with the state of Minnesota have not yet released any statements in response to Tuesday’s court filing.

This is a developing story. Stay with KARE 11 for updates.

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