Derek Chauvin's Attorney Files Motion for New Trial After Ex-Cop Was Convicted of George Floyd's Murder
In a four-page document obtained by PEOPLE, Chauvin's attorney, Eric J. Nelson, alleges that his client was not given a fair trial due to a number of misconducts, including an "abuse of discretion" made by the court when it denied a request for a venue change due to publicity surrounding the case.
"The Court abused its discretion when it failed to sequester the jury for the duration of the trial, or in the least, admonish them to avoid all media, which resulted in jury exposure to prejudicial publicity regarding the trial during the proceedings, as well as jury intimidation and potential fear of retribution among jurors, which violated Mr. Chauvin's constitutional rights to due process and to a fair trial," the filing reads.
In the document, Nelson also alleges that prosecutors "committed pervasive, prejudicial prosecutorial misconduct" that violated Chauvin's right to a fair trial.
Additionally, the motion is requesting an "order for a hearing to impeach the verdict" on the grounds that jurors may have "felt threatened or intimidated, felt race-based pressure during the proceedings, and/or failed to adhere to instructions during deliberations."
Nelson did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
"The court has already rejected many of these arguments and the State will vigorously oppose them," John Stiles, deputy chief of staff for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, tells PEOPLE in a statement on Tuesday night.
On April 20, a jury convicted Chauvin of all three charges in Floyd's murder — second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter — and a judge quickly ordered him into custody.
RELATED VIDEO: Derek Chauvin Convicted of All Charges in Murder of George Floyd
Floyd, 46, was killed on May 25, 2020, when Chauvin, 45, knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes while arresting him outside a Minneapolis convenience store — despite Floyd repeatedly telling the officers he couldn't breathe.
Floyd was unarmed. Officers had pinned him to the ground, and placed him in handcuffs.
As a first-time offender in Minnesota, Chauvin faces a recommended penalty of 12-and-a-half years in prison. He could receive a higher sentence, however, and the most serious crime carries a maximum of 40 years.
Chauvin will be sentenced on June 25.
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