The murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin came to a close Thursday after Chauvin’s legal team wrapped its defense without the former officer taking the stand.
Chauvin, 45, is on trial for the murder and manslaughter of George Floyd, who died during an arrest in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. Closing arguments are scheduled to begin on Monday, after which the sequestered jury will begin deliberations.
Chauvin took off his mask Thursday and spoke for the first time during the trial, telling Judge Peter Cahill absent of the jury’s presence in the courtroom that he will invoke his Fifth Amendment right and would not testify. It would have been Chauvin’s first time publicly telling his side of the story.
“Is this your decision not to testify?” Cahill asked.
Chauvin replied, “It is, your honor.”
Prosecutors then recalled Dr. Martin Tobin, a lung and critical care expert, to the stand to poke holes in a defense witness’ theory that carbon monoxide poisoning from a police car’s exhaust could have contributed to Floyd’s death.
Both sides then wrapped their cases.
On Wednesday, a retired forensic pathologist testified that Floyd died of a sudden heart rhythm problem due to his heart disease while being restrained by police.
Dr. David Fowler, a former chief medical examiner for the state of Maryland, said the fentanyl and methamphetamine in Floyd’s system, and possible carbon monoxide poisoning from auto exhaust, were contributing factors in his death.
- Chauvin, 45, is charged with second and third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of Floyd.
- Prosecutors say Floyd died because Chauvin’s knee was pressed into Floyd’s neck or neck area for 9 1/2 minutes
“All of those combined to cause Mr. Floyd’s death,” he said during the second day of the defense case.
Chauvin attorney Derek Nelson is also trying to prove that Floyd died because of his illegal drug use and underlying health problems. Medical experts called by prosecutors have said Floyd died from a lack of oxygen because the way he was restrained restricted his breathing.
Nelson has also argued that Chauvin did what he was trained to do, despite top Minneapolis police officials testifying that Chauvin used excessive force and violated his training.
Cahill turned down a defense request on Wednesday to acquit Chauvin, rejecting claims that prosecutors failed to prove Chauvin’s actions killed Floyd.
The defense began its case on Tuesday.
Fox News will present coverage surrounding the historic trial throughout the week. In addition to programming on the Fox News Channel, Fox News Digital will provide livestreams of the proceeding at FoxNews.com.
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