Chauvin attorney files motion for new trial
Tuesday, the attorney for Derek Chauvin filed a motion for a new trial for the former Minneapolis police officer.
In the motion, Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney, listed prosecutorial and judicial misconduct among the dozen reasons for a new trial.
Nelson argued Chauvin’s rights to a fair trial were denied when Judge Peter Cahill denied a motion for a change of venue. He also claims publicity during the proceedings threatened fairness in the trial.
The attorney also requested a hearing to impeach the verdict based "on the grounds that the jury committed misconduct, felt threatened or intimidated, felt race-based pressure during the proceedings, and/or failed to adhere to instructions during deliberations.
It is not immediately clear if Tuesday’s motion is in connection to media interviews done by Brandon Mitchell, who served as Juror 52 during the trial.
On Monday, Mitchell defended a photo that was circulating on social media that showed him participating in the Aug. 28 event to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.’s "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington D.C.
Mitchell told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reporter Brandi Powell he answered no on the jury questionnaire when asked if he attended any of the demonstrations or marches against police brutality because he believed the event in D.C. was based around voting and celebrating the 57th anniversary of the Martin Luther King "I Have a Dream Speech," and not around the death of George Floyd. Mitchell also spoke with a number other media outlets.
Chauvin was found guilty two weeks ago of killing Floyd and is being held at Minnesota Correctional Facility – Oak Park Heights. He is scheduled to be sentenced next month.
A spokesperson for the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office issued the following statement in response to Tuesday’s filing, "The court has already rejected many of these arguments and the State will vigorously oppose them."
Rachel Moran, a former criminal defense attorney and University of St. Thomas law professor, said she was not surprised Nelson filed the motion seeking a new trial.
"Is this a surprise at all? No, it is completely expected," she said. "Every defense lawyer would do this after losing a trial."
Speaking to the points Nelson gave as reasons for a new trial, Moran said, "Most of the issues in the motion are not what I’d call meritorious. The thing about the motion for a new trial is that you include everything you can possibly think of to try to presumably raise an appeal."