MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Witness testimony is now complete in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd. Closing arguments will begin at 9 a.m. Monday. The trial is being broadcast live, gavel to gavel, on FOX 9 and streaming live at fox9.com/live.
Chauvin chose not to testify in his own defense. Out of the hearing of the jury Thursday, Chauvin informed the court he was invoking his Fifth Amendment right not to self-incriminate and would not testify in the trial.
Trial Judge Peter Cahill accepted his decision, convinced he had made it voluntarily.
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The defense rested its case as soon as the jury was called back into the courtroom.
The state then called a rebuttal witness, Chicago area pulmonologist Dr. Martin Tobin, who disputed the testimony of the defense's medical expert, Dr. David Fowler. Fowler testified on Wednesday that Floyd’s manner of death should be listed as undetermined, rather than a homicide because of all the factors at play, including possibly carbon monoxide coming from squad car next to where Floyd was being held.
After a brief cross examination from Nelson, the state rested its case, concluding the witness testimony in the trial.
Judge Cahill told the jury closing arguments and jury instructions will begin at 9 a.m. on Monday, giving them a long weekend to prepare for sequestration. After that, the jury will be sequestered immediately and begin deliberating. They will remain seuqestered until they reach a verdict.
The pool reporter spoke to George Floyd’s cousin, Arthur Reed, who was in the Floyd family seat in the courtroom on Thursday. When asked about Chauvin’s decision not to testify, he said he felt that the prosecution "would have chopped him down second by second," about why he knelt on Floyd for so long. "We didn’t think they were going to put him on at all," he said.
"We’re just ready to get this over with, make sure he (Floyd) gets the justice he deserves," Reed continued. "We think the state has put on an excellent case."
Chauvin is charged with third-degree murder, second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death last May.
Defense medical expert says he would rule Floyd's death 'undetermined'
The defense only made it through one witness on Wednesday, retired forensic pathologist Dr. David Fowler. Fowler's testimony indicated he did not agree with the findings in the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s autopsy of Floyd.
Fowler concluded Floyd’s manner of death should be listed as undetermined, rather than a homicide because of all the factors at play, including possibly carbon monoxide from squad car Floyd was being held on the ground next to. Fowler made clear he does not believe carbon monoxide did not kill Floyd, but it was a contributing factor in his death along with heart disease, underlying health conditions and drug use.
Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell aggressively attacked Fowler’s findings on cross examination, including establishing the possibility that the Minneapolis squad right next to where Floyd was pinned might not have even been running at the point to generate chemical exhaust and thus the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning.
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