MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There are new developments in the trial of the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd.
The Minnesota Supreme Court Wednesday denied Derek Chauvin’s petition for further review of a third-degree murder charge. The ruling means it’s likely Judge Peter Cahill will have to reinstate the additional charge against Chauvin, who currently faces second-degree murder and manslaughter charges.READ MORE: Derek Chauvin Trial: Minn. Supreme Court Denies Defense’s Appeal For Review Of 3rd-Degree Murder Charge
Criminal defense attorney Joe Tamburino, who has no connection with this trial, says the decision will help prosecutors.
“Technically it’s still a live issue because [the court of appeals] does have to give an answer, and I would imagine they would do that very quickly, but the likelihood would be that the court of appeals would deny suspending this trial and will say, ‘Please just continue,’ and then the judge still has to make the decision on whether there is probable cause for third-degree to be reinstated,” Tamburino said.
With the fourth and fifth jurors chosen Wednesday, the jury panel is so far comprised of three white men in their 30s, a Black man in his 30s and a woman in her 20s or 30s who appears to be a person of color.
Chauvin again sat next to defense attorney Eric Nelson. Most of the time he sat looking intently at the prospective jurors and intently taking notes.
All of the prospective jurors had seen the video of the fatal encounter, and almost all — like a white male prospective juror in his 60s — had a bad impression of Chauvin.
“That negative impression doesn’t necessarily keep me from looking at the facts behind the case,” the man said.
Nelson seemed skeptical.READ MORE: Derek Chauvin Trial, Day 3 -- As It Happened
“I don’t mean to challenge you. Believe it or not, you are not the only person in the world who has a negative impression of my client, and it’s OK,” Nelson said. “You the only person who knows what’s in your heart and in your mind.”
The defense ended up striking this particular juror. The fourth juror chosen to be on the panel is a white man in his late 30s who is a data sales manager, scheduled to marry his fiancé on May 1. He believes there is systemic racism in the justice system, and he has a highly favorable view of Black Lives Matter.
“Black lives matter, yes they do matter, and I don’t understand why anyone would be against that,” the man said.
The fifth juror that was seated is a Black man in his 30s or 40s who is an IT security manager. He speaks multiple languages, and came to the U.S. 14 years ago. After watching news clips of Floyd’s arrest, he says his impression of Chauvin was negative — but he could put that aside.
“I wasn’t there. The part of the video that I saw was somewhat negative because of what transpired on the video, so that’s all I have,” the man said. “I don’t know any other fact.”
He said after watching the video, he told his wife that he could have been Floyd.
“It could have been anyone. It could have been you, that’s what I mean. As for me, I used to live close to that area,” he said.MORE NEWS: Jury Consultant & Psychologist Breaks Down Jury Selection In Derek Chauvin Trial
Right now, sources involved in the proceedings say they are pleasantly surprised that jury selection is moving at this pace, and that there is the increasing expectation that the process will take less than the scheduled three weeks.