Derek Chauvin’s attorneys allege jury misconduct, request new trial

Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office via Getty Images

(MINNESOTA) — Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty on all three counts in the death of George Floyd, is requesting a new trial.

Chauvin’s legal team claimS there are multiple reasons why a new trial is needed, citing jury misconduct as one of several reasons behind their request.

Attorney Eric Nelson stated in the filing, “The jury committed misconduct, felt threatened or intimidated, felt race-based pressure during the proceedings, and/or failed to adhere to instructions during deliberations, in violation of Mr. Chauvin’s constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial.”

Nelson also said failure to sequester the jury allowed potential exposure “to prejudicial publicity regarding the trial during the proceedings, as well as jury intimidation and potential fear of retribution among jurors.”

It is unclear if a new trial will be granted.

John Stiles, deputy chief of staff for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, tells ABC News, “The court has already rejected many of these arguments and the State will vigorously oppose them.”

Chauvin was found guilty on April 20 of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter of George Floyd and faces a total of up to 40 years in prison.

However, due to the former officer’s lack of a criminal record, he is more likely to be sentenced to 15 years per Minnesota sentencing guidelines.

Ellison has since petitioned Judge Peter Cahill, who oversaw the case, to impose a severe sentence because Chauvin acted with “particular cruelty” during his interaction with Floyd.

Chauvin’s attorneys oppose the harsher sentence and argued the encounter allowed their client, under Minnesota law, to “use reasonable force.”

Chauvin will be sentenced June 16. The hearing is set to commence at 1:30 p.m. CT.

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