MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — The prosecution has rested its case and the defense for a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death is now presenting its case Tuesday.
It comes after 11 days of a prosecution narrative that combined wrenching video with clinical analysis by medical and use-of-force experts to condemn Derek Chauvin’s actions.READ MORE: 'The Defense Is Under The Gun': Legal Expert Breaks Down Derek Chauvin’s Motion For New Trial
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Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson is expected to have his own experts testify that it was Floyd’s drug use and bad heart, not Chauvin’s actions, that killed him. Investigators told the court that they found pills in the squad car that officers tried to get Floyd into. The pills were shown to contain methamphetamine and fentanyl. Additionally, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Floyd said he suffered from an enlarged heart and hypertension.
The defense hasn’t said whether Chauvin will take the stand.
Defense attorney Joe Tamburino, who is not affiliated with the case, says there are a number of points that can only get across if Chauvin takes the stand.
“Without his testimony, I think it’s going to be difficult [for the defense] to prove some things or establish certain points … Just in reality, that jury is going to want to hear from Chauvin,” Tamburino said.READ MORE: Derek Chauvin's Attorney Files Motion For New Trial
However, taking the stand is also a risk for Chauvin.
“He just might not come across well,” Tamburino said, adding that Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, will have spent considerable time with his client, determining whether or not he should testify.
In court, Chauvin has shown little emotion or character. He sits upright, wears a black face mask and writes notes often on a legal pad. For most days, there is no relative in the seat reserved for his family.
Last week, the state called a number of medical experts, use-of-force experts and Minneapolis police officers to the stand, including Chief Medaria Arradondo. He said that Chauvin was breaking department policy when he knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes while Floyd lay prone and handcuffed outside a south Minneapolis convenience store, where he had allegedly tried to pass a fake $20 bill.
One of the medical experts who testified last week, Dr. Martin Tobin, a nationally-renowned expert on the lungs and breathing, told the court that a healthy person restrained the way Floyd was would have died under Chauvin’s knee.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other former officers involved in the arrest are also charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin. Their trial is slated for August.MORE NEWS: Derek Chauvin Juror Brandon Mitchell's Participation In D.C. March Could Help Appeal, Legal Experts Say
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