'I Felt Like He Was Guilty': Juror Speaks Out Following Chauvin Conviction


Moments before Ma'Khia Bryant was shot and killed in Ohio, the eyes of the nation were glued to another case where an officer killed a Black American. As the nation waited with bated breath, Judge Peter Cahill informed the world that a jury of Derek Chauvin's peers found him guilty of murder and manslaughter. He was quickly hauled into custody, where he will be held without bail until he is sentenced in June.

Alongside the verdict, Judge Peter Cahill also shared the names of the 12 jurors and two alternate jurors that were involved in making this important decision. Less than a week after this information was shared, an alternate juror by the name of Lisa Christensen sat down for an interview with CBS This Morning to discuss her experience.

During the extensive interview, Christensen opened up about how she felt as the trial unfolded. The alternate juror said that the trial turned when Dr. Martin J. Tobin took the stand for the prosecution.

"I just felt like the prosecution made a really good, strong argument. Dr. Tobin was the one that really did it for me. He explained everything. I understood it down to where he said this is the moment that he lost his life, really got to me," she explained.

Tobin was widely praised as the physician, who clearly stated that Floyd died because Chauvin pressed his body against the street for nine minutes. He said that the former officer's actions left the Minneapolis man with a "low level" of oxygen.

In contrast, Christensen felt that the defense did an insufficient job in defending their client. She expressed that attorney Eric Nelson presented a case in the opening days of the trial that he couldn't fulfill later on.

"I don't think they had a good impact," Christensen said about Chauvin's defense team.

"I think he over-promised in the beginning and didn't live up to what he said he was going to do."

Adding on, Christensen made eye contact with the defendant several times during the trial. Many of those encounters left her feeling uncomfortable.

"I felt like he was the leader, and the other officers were following his lead. I kind of felt like he wasn't taking the warnings seriously, obviously, kind of like I know what I'm doing," she added.

As the trial went on, Christensen said that she was "worried" about the impact that the verdict would have. According to Christensen, someone wasn't going to be happy regardless of the verdict that was handed down.

"I was worried about, you know, whatever the verdict may be if some people felt strongly on one side, other people felt strongly on the other side. So no matter what, I felt like somebody wasn't going to be happy," she stated.

As the trial unfolded, Christensen did not know that she was an alternate juror. Once the closing arguments were over, she was informed of her role and she was sent home to Brooklyn Center. Two days later, she learned of the verdict.

"I felt he was guilty. They read the jury instructions to us in the courtroom briefly, but I didn't know it was going to be guilty on all counts but I would have said guilty," Christensen said.

Christensen's home of Brooklyn Center will soon face another case like State v. Chauvin. Daunte Wright was killed by former officer Kim Potter in the Minneapolis suburb earlier this month. He was laid to rest on April 22.

Photo Credit: Getty Images


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