The lawyers for the former Tou Thao officer, Robert Paule and Natalie Paule, cited a number of reasons for the request, including that the jury will have “insurmountable difficulties in distinguishing the alleged acts of each defendant from the alleged acts of his co-defendants. “.
“Evidence can be presented by each defendant which would be inadmissible against other defendants in a separate trial to the detriment of those defendants”, was another reason given by the lawyers. They wrote that the former officer could get a “fairer and more impartial trial” if he was tried separately from his co-defendants.
J. Alexander Kueng’s attorney, Thomas Plunkett, wrote that there is a conflict of interest between the defendants.
“The conflict stems from Mr. Chauvin’s level of guilt,” Plunkett wrote. “Due to this conflict, jurors will not be able to follow the court’s instructions and compartmentalize the evidence with respect to Mr. Kueng.”
A lawyer for Thomas Lane has filed a motion asking to join the pre-trial motions of his co-defendants.
Trial judge Tony Leung has yet to render a ruling on the motions. Answers are expected before August 17th.
Thao and Kueng were also charged with failing to intervene in Chauvin’s use of unreasonable force, according to the federal indictment. Chauvin, Thao, Kueng and Lane all face a charge for failing to provide medical assistance to Floyd.
The indictment in the federal trial is set for September 14.
Thao, Kueng and Lane were at the scene with Chauvin. The state trial for the three officers – who are charged with aiding and abetting second degree murder and aiding and abetting second degree manslaughter – has been postponed to March 7, 2022, so that the federal trial on charges of civil rights can take place first.