Derek Chauvin on Tuesday requested a new trial after being convicted in April of second degree murder and other charges for the death of George Floyd.
Attorney Eric J. Nelson says in the petition that Chauvin was denied a fair trial because of “prosecutor and jury misconduct; errors of law at trial ”, and that the resulting jury verdict was“ against the law ”.
Chauvin, who is white, was convicted in April of unintentional second degree murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter for pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes while that the black man said he couldn’t breathe and walked away still.
Tuesday’s motion, an expected development in the case, argues that a number of reasons would warrant a new trial. Among the most anticipated: that Judge Peter Cahill should not have rejected the defense’s request to change the location of the trial.
April 28: Chauvin trial juror says he felt no pressure for a guilty verdict
Appeals with change of venue disputes are rare but not unprecedented.
Nelson also said in the motion that the judge should have sequestered the jury and that failure to ask them to avoid all media resulted in them being exposed to “damaging publicity regarding the trial.”
Nelson also alleges that the prosecution in the case “committed widespread and prejudicial misconduct to the prosecution, which deprived Mr. Chauvin of his constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial.”
Chauvin is expected to be sentenced in June. The Minnesota attorney general filed documents last week calling for Chauvin to be sentenced to a harsher prison term in the case, arguing that the former Minneapolis cop inflicted torturous murder methods as Floyd pleaded for his life .
“Mr. Floyd was treated with particular cruelty. (…) The defendant continued to maintain his position on top of Mr. Floyd even as Mr. Floyd cried out that he was in pain, even when Mr. Floyd was is exclaimed 27 times that he couldn’t breathe, and even when Mr. Floyd said the defendant’s actions were killing him, “Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said. He added that Chauvin remained in position for that Floyd was screaming for his mother, stopped talking, and passed out.
Prosecutors also wrote that Chauvin’s actions “inflicted gratuitous pain” and psychological distress not only on Floyd but on civilian passers-by who they say will be haunted by the memory of what they saw.
Four of those in the crowd watching Floyd’s death were minors, according to the court record.
Contributor: Mike James; The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Derek Chauvin, Convicted of Murdering George Floyd, Requests New Trial