Former police officer Derek Chauvin, convicted last month of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd last May, filed a motion for a new trial on Tuesday.
Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, argued that the court should have granted the defense’s motion to move the trial out of Hennepin County, given the strong local sentiments about the case.
Nelson also argued that Judge Peter A. Cahill erred when he denied the defense’s motion for a mistrial after public officials, including Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), made statements suggesting that there would be unrest unless the jury delivered a guilty verdict. The jury was not sequestered yet, Nelson pointed out.
Such statements, throughout the trial, “was so pervasive and so prejudicial before and during this trial that it amounted to a structural defect in the proceedings,” Nelson argued.
He added that the judge erred by not sequestering the jury