Fri, 25 Jun 2021

WASHINGTON, May 4 (Xinhua) -- Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering black man George Floyd, filed a request Tuesday asking for a new trial.

The motion, filed by Chauvin's attorney Eric Nelson, cites factors including "the interests of justice; abuse of discretion that deprived the Defendant of a fair trial; prosecutorial and jury misconduct; errors of law at trial; and a verdict that is contrary to law."

Chauvin was convicted on April 20 of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's death.

Nelson wrote in the filing that "The Court abused its discretion when it denied Defendant's motion for a change of venue" and that publicity around the pretrial hearing escalated "the potential for prejudice in these proceedings."

Nelson also pointed to the court's rules surrounding the jury, which he claimed were not strict enough to prevent jurors from being affected by media coverage of the trial.

"The publicity here was so pervasive and so prejudicial before and during this trial that it amounted to a structural defect in the proceedings," he wrote.

"The Court abused its discretion when it failed to sequester the jury for the duration of the trial, or in the least, admonish them to avoid all media, which resulted in jury exposure to prejudicial publicity regarding the trial during the proceedings, as well as jury intimidation and potential fear of retribution among jurors, which violated Mr. Chauvin's constitutional rights to due process and to a fair trial," Nelson contended.

"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 wrote in conclusion.

John Stiles, the deputy chief of staff for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, pushed back on Nelson's filing, saying in a statement that "The court has already rejected many of these arguments and the State will vigorously oppose them."

The deadline to make post-conviction filings is Wednesday, according to Minnesota court rules.

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