Court adjourns on day one of Derek Chauvin Trial

Jury selection in the trial of Derek Chauvin has been delayed. Jury selection in the trial of Derek Chauvin has been delayed. |  Photo: WDIO-TV

AMY FORLITI and STEVE KARNOWSKI, Associated Press
Updated: March 08, 2021 10:44 PM
Created: March 08, 2021 09:45 AM

MINNEAPOLIS - Judge Peter Cahill has adjourned court for the day, in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin is charged in the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020.  The proceedings got underway Monday, as Judge Cahill heard motions from both sides.  

The bulk of the conversations centered around whether it was appropriate to begin jury selection, as scheduled, or wait until the Minnesota Supreme Court rules on an expected appeal on third-degree murder by Derek Chauvin's attorneys.

State prosecutors argued jury selection should be delayed but Cahill disagreed and said he expected to begin jury selection. At 9:15 a.m. however, jury selection was put on hold and likely would not begin until Tuesday morning after prosecutors asked the Minnesota Court of Appeals to intervene.

Cahill said he doesn't have jurisdiction to rule on whether or not the third-degree murder charge can be reinstated against Chauvin.

According to Hubbard sister-station KSTP, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filed a motion with the Minnesota Court of Appeals to keep the trial from proceeding on substantive matters, including jury selection, until the district court regains full jurisdiction in the case. 

"The State is fully ready to go to trial, but the trial must be conducted in accordance with the rules and the law," Ellison said in a statement. "Now that Mr. Chauvin has stated his intention to appeal Friday's Court of Appeals ruling to the Minnesota Supreme Court, as is his right, the district court does not have jurisdiction to conduct jury selection or hear and rule on other substantive matters in the trial. We have filed motion with the Court of Appeals to ensure that justice is pursued properly." 

Derek Chauvin is already facing a second-degree unintentional murder charge and a manslaughter charge. But there’s an active appeal on whether the third charge, which was dropped by a judge, can be restored. The reason, reinstating the count could increase the prosecution’s odds of getting a murder conviction in what will be one of Minnesota’s highest-profile trials ever. 

While prosecutors could win a conviction without the third-degree charge, legal experts say the case isn’t a slam dunk.

Jury selection is expected to begin Tuesday morning when court reconvenes at 8 a.m. The judge stated it will go on unless the Minnesota Court of Appeals says otherwise.

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AMY FORLITI and STEVE KARNOWSKI, Associated Press

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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