Update: The judge in the murder trial of ex-cop, Derek Chauvin, instructed the jury to be absolutely fair, base decisions on facts, not bias or public pressure. Closing arguments ended shortly before 5:00 pm. The final words the jury heard from attorneys was from the special prosecutor who said, “George Floyd did not die because his heart was too big, he died because Derek Chauvin’s heart was too small.”
The jury, which is now sequestered, began deliberating at 5:00 p.m. After the jury left the courtroom, the defense alleged prosecutorial misconduct when attorneys used the words “stories” and “shading of the truth” when referring to the Chauvin defense. The judge did not agree that the offending words rose to the level of a mistrial.
Closing arguments were heard Monday in the Minneapolis murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin who is charged in the death of George Floyd. The jury was shown video of Chauvin with a knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes leading to his death last year.
After opening arguments, the jury will then be sequestered to begin deliberations.
Chauvin faces charges of second degree unintentional murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter which carry a 10 to 40 year prison sentence depending on the verdict.
Legal experts say the strongest argument the defense made during closing arguments was that even the prosecution’s own expert witnesses don’t agree on the cause of death. In fact, the Medical Examiner has a different cause of death than some of the other experts. However, all do agree on the manner of death, that Derek Chauvin’s actions were a substantial cause if not the primary cause of George Floyd’s death.
Meanwhile, the governor of Minnesota is calling for calm as jurors in the Derek Chauvin trial are expected to get the case today.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) has another message if the verdict is not guilty…get “confrontational and fight.” A comment to intimidate the jury that judge, Peter Cahill, condemned and conceded could be grounds for appeal.
Here’s CNN’s Chris Cuomo on the topic…he suggests that things won’t change unless white kids get shot by police.
The jury will begin deliberations once today’s closing arguments wrap up. A verdict is expected sometime this week.