George Floyd trials: Derek Chauvin in March, 3 others in summer

Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao. J Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane. The four former Minneapolis police officers are charged in the death of George Floyd. (FOX 9)

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will stand trial alone in March in the death of George Floyd, while the three other ex-officers charged in the case will go on trial together in late summer.

FOX 9 has confirmed the trial plans through multiple sources. Scheduling orders from Judge Peter Cahill are expected to be publicly filed Tuesday morning in Hennepin County District Court.

The prosecution and the defense came together on Thursday, Jan. 7 to argue their positions for delaying the George Floyd murder trial during a virtual, online hearing. None of the four defendants joined the feed, just their attorneys.

The State has asked the trial to be pushed back three months from March 8 into June. Prosecutors argue it is a COVID-19 concern and that the delay could allow more people to get vaccinated against the virus. That includes prospective jurors as well as large groups of protesters expected to gather across Minneapolis.

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Defense attorney Earl Gray, who represents former officer Thomas Lane, objected. He argued a trial in warmer weather months would almost certainly lead to bigger crowds, and there are no guarantees how successful Minnesota’s vaccination efforts will be.

Some of the defense attorneys, though, have also called for a delay. In December, the defense attorneys for Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao filed motions to delay the trial. Both legal teams argue the state has not disclosed evidence in a timely manner, which has impacted their preparation. Thao's attorney suggested the trial be moved to July, but Chauvin's attorney did not specify a date.

The lawyers also met Thursday with court officials at the Hennepin County Government Center to start talking about trial security and other logistical issues, including how their clients can safely enter and exit the building.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

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