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The lawyer for ex-cop Derek Chauvin at the George Floyd murder trial said Monday that a $27 million wrongful death settlement has tainted the jury pool — and wants the trial halted or moved out of Minneapolis.
At issue is Friday’s announcement that the Minnesota city reached the hefty settlement with Floyd’s family in their wrongful death suit over his May 25 police-custody death.
The concern for the defense is that the city’s decision to settle rather than fight the civil case could be seen as an admission of guilt.
“The fact that this came in the exact middle of jury selection, it’s perplexing to me, your honor,” defense attorney Eric Nelson told Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill on Monday.
“There are things that the court should be obligated to do to protect the jury from future questionable press releases,” Nelson said.
“One thing I think the court should strongly consider is a request for a continuance, your honor, (and) renewal of our change of venue motion.”
Cahill called it “a legitimate concern,” and will bring the seven jurors selected as of Friday back into court to question them on whether the settlement affected their view of the case.
The judge said he will also consider Nelson’s other requests — but continued with jury selection in the meantime.
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