MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On the fourth day of jury selection in the trial of Derek Chauvin, lawyers for both sides agreed on just one more juror. A total of seven jurors have now been seated; that’s half of the 12 jurors and two alternates that are needed.
Now, the biggest question is how the city’s settlement with George Floyd’s family could affect the Chauvin trial.READ MORE: Minneapolis City Council Approves $27M Settlement With George Floyd’s Family
The court continued on with jury selection in the midst of learning of the historic settlement. Settlements like this typically come after a trial is complete. Analysts say this coming during jury selection could affect the case, and there could even be a motion for a mistrial.
Defense attorney Joe Tamburino, who is not affiliated with the trial, says the timing of the settlement could change how the case moves forward.
“What happens if mistrial motions are made saying because of the influence of this settlement being done now? What happens if there’s another change of venue motion?” Tamburino said. “I’ve never actually seen this … while the criminal jury selection process is going on, where they’ve selected seven out of the 12 jurors in the case.”
Jurors have been asked to stay away from coverage of the trial.
In court, there were many more strikes and dismissals than jurors seated Friday.
Jury selection resumed Friday with the questioning of two white women. The defense struck the first. She’s in her 20s, a recent college graduate, and had attended a Black Lives Matter protest in Duluth. When asked if she’s open to the possibility that police reform is not needed, she said no. She said she could set aside her opinions and look at the facts of the case.READ MORE: A Look Some Of The Largest Previous Settlements In U.S. Police Killings
The seventh juror selected to serve is a white mother in her 50s, who does nonprofit work in health care. She said she thinks everyone’s life has been changed by the death of George Floyd.
“Yeah, I have sympathy or empathy for everyone involved, because this is life-altering, life-changing, and it’s hard,” she said.
She had some specific views on bias, and drug usage, but said she could set those aside.
“At the end of the day only people seeing all the facts are the people in the courtroom, and you have to render a verdict based on the fact and evidence in the case,” she said.
The prosecution struck the first potential male juror of the day, a white man in his 40s, married with kids, who spent eight years in the Army Reserve.
Judge Peter Cahill dismissed one potential juror because of financial hardship. She was about to move out of her parents’ home, and was starting a new job. He dismissed a second after saying he can’t be fair and impartial.
Court resumes Monday.
More On WCCO.com: