Defense rests without Chauvin testimony at murder trial – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The defense in the murder trial of ex-officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd closed their case Thursday without bringing chauvin to the stand and presented a total of two days of testimony to prosecutors for the two weeks.
The final arguments are due to begin on Monday morning. The jury will then examine the case.
Before the jury was taken into the courtroom, Chauvin, whose COVID-19 mask had been removed in a rare moment in the courtroom, informed the judge that he would not testify and said he would be entitled to his fifth amendment called not to take a stand.
It would have been the first time Chauvin had publicly told his side of the story.
“Is that your decision not to testify?” Judge Peter Cahill asked.
“It is your honor,” said Chauvin.
Prosecutors briefly recalled a pulmonary and critical care expert who had put down a defense witness theory that carbon monoxide poisoning from the exhaust of a patrol car may have contributed to Floyd’s death. Dr. Martin Tobin noted that hospital exams showed that Floyd’s normal level was 2% or less.
With that, both sides had finished presenting their cases.
After the clashes are over, the racially diverse jury is advised in the courthouse with barbed wire rings. Minneapolis is opposed to repeating the protests and acts of violence that broke out over Floyd’s death last spring.
Reminding the jury that they will be confiscated from Monday, Cahill said, “If I were you, I would plan long and hope short.”
The question of whether Chauvin would testify has been the subject of weeks of speculation.
The risks were high: the testimony could have opened him up for a devastating cross-examination. Prosecutors replayed the video of the arrest, forcing Chauvin to explain, frame by frame, why he continued to pressurize Floyd.
But the opinion could also have given the jury the opportunity to see or hear any remorse or sympathy that they may feel. He could have removed the mask he had to wear on the defense table.
The only time Chauvin was heard publicly defend himself was when the jury heard footage from the scene from body cameras last May. After an ambulance took Floyd away, Chauvin said to a bystander, “We have to control this guy because he’s a sizable guy … and it looks like he’s probably into something.”
The decision not to testify was announced the day after a forensic pathologist testifying on behalf of the defense announced that Floyd had died of a sudden arrhythmia as a result of his heart disease. This contradicted law enforcement experts, who said Floyd was deprived of oxygen from the way he was being held.
Defense witness Dr. David Fowler said Wednesday that the fentanyl and methamphetamine in Floyd’s system and possibly carbon monoxide poisoning contributed to the death of the 46-year-old black man last May.
Fowler also testified that he would classify the nature of the death as “indefinite” rather than murder, as the county’s chief medical officer ruled. He said Floyd’s death had too many conflicting factors, some of which could be viewed as murder and others as accidental.
The 45-year-old chauvin is charged with the murder and manslaughter of Floyd’s death after he was arrested on suspicion of selling counterfeit $ 20 in a neighborhood market. The video of Floyd gasping for air and unable to breathe as viewers yelled at Chauvin to leave him sparked global protests, violence and an angry investigation into racism and policing in the United States
Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson has argued that the 19-year-old Minneapolis police veteran did what he was trained to do and that Floyd died from his illicit drug use and underlying health problems.
Prosecutors say Floyd died because the white officer’s knee was pressed against Floyd’s neck or neck area for 9 1/2 minutes while he was lying on his stomach on the sidewalk with his hands cuffed behind him and his face clamped against the floor .
But Fowler said that Chauvin’s knee on Floyd was “nowhere near his airway” and that Floyd’s speaking and groaning indicated that his airway was still open. He also testified that Chauvin’s knee was not put on with enough pressure to bruise or scratch Floyd’s neck or back.
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