What to expect: Major pre-trial hearing for 4 fired officers in George Floyd case
MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - All four former Minneapolis police officers charged in connection to the death of George Floyd will be in Hennepin County District Court Friday for a motion hearing in the case. This will be the first time Derek Chauvin appears in court in-person after making his previous appearances over a video feed from the Oak Park Heights prison.
The hearing, which starts at 9 a.m., will give the state and defense attorneys a chance to present oral arguments to Judge Peter Cahill about motions they have filed in the case. Among the key items on the agenda include the state's motion to join all four cases into one trial and the defense teams' motion to change the venue of the trial.
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- Derek Chauvin Charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter
- Charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter
- Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane All three are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter
- All three are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter
MOTION FOR JOINDER
On Aug. 12, prosecutors filed a motion to join the cases of the four Minneapolis police officers charged in the police killing of George Floyd. The move means there would be one trial for all the officers, rather than four separate trials. On Tuesday, attorneys representing Thomas Lane, Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao all filed objections to joining the four cases.
According to court documents, the state believes the cases should be joined because the evidence will be similar and four separate trials could bring a burden on the court system and could impact the jury pools for the subsequent trials.
The defense teams, however, argue joining the trials could cause prejudice against their clients because of antagonistic defenses, meaning the defendants will likely point blame at one another.
MOTION TO CHANGE VENUE
All four defense teams have filed a motion to move the trial out of Hennepin County, claiming the jury pool will likely have been impacted by pre-trial media coverage, jeopardizing the chances for a fair trial.
Lane's attorney suggested the trial should be moved to Washington County or Dakota County. Thao's attorney recommended it should be held in St. Louis County, Clay County, or Crow Wing County. Kueng's lawyer suggested Stearns County. Chauvin's attorney asked that the trial be held outside of the Twin Cities area.
Judge Cahill will also hear the defense's motions to sequester the jury and make the jury members anonymous.
Finally, administrative matters will be addressed from COVID-19 restrictions to audio and visual coverage. To see the full agenda click here.
DECISIONS ON MOTIONS
While Judge Cahill could make a decision on some of the motions Friday, a legal expert says that may not happen because Cahill will have 90 days to make his decisions.