On Friday (March 19), a judged ruled that the murder trial of Derek Chauvin who is charged in the death of George Floyd will go on as scheduled after denying a motion to delay the trial.
Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill ruled against a motion filed by the defense attorneys to delay or move the trial over concerns about publicity of the $27 million settlement made to Floyd’s family from the city of Minneapolis, per a report by NBC News.
“Unfortunately, I think the pretrial publicity in this case will continue no matter how long we continue it,” Cahill said. “Perhaps some of it may, with time, be forgotten by people,” he added. “And as far as change of venue, I do not think that that would give the defendant any kind of a fair trial beyond what we are here today.”
“I don’t think there is any place in the state of Minnesota that has not been subjected to extreme amounts of publicity on this case,” the judge added.
Jury selection began earlier this month and was briefly delayed over a motion filed in an appeals court about the potential reinstatement of a third-degree murder charge against Chauvin. Though prospective jurors were sent home the first day (March 8), jury selection resumed and the third-degree charge was reinstated.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose office is prosecuting in the case released a statement Friday (March 19) that said Judge Cahill “correctly ruled against a continuance and change of venue.”
“The court has taken careful, considered steps to mitigate the effects of pre-trial publicity that make a continuance and change of venue unnecessary,” the statement reads, according to the news outlet. “A week ahead schedule, both sides have now agreed on 12 jurors...and all of whom have been carefully screened for impartiality in the face of inevitable pre-trial publicity not only in Hennepin County, but in every part of Minnesota,” Ellison wrote.
Two jurors were dismissed on Wednesday (March 17) after they told the court knowing about the settlement would have an influence on their opinion in the case.
According to NBC, the three Black men, one Black woman, two multiracial women, two white men, and five white women were selected as the 13 jurors for the trial.
The trial is expected to start hearing opening statements on March 29.
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