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Expert Medical Witness Testifies George Floyd Died OF Heart Issues, Not Police Restraint

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CBS4's Elise Preston has more from Wednesday's court hearing in the Derek Chauvin trial.

Video Transcript

DAVID FOWLER: Bottom line is, he has an enlarged heart.

LAUREN PASTRANA: Now at 5:00, George Floyd died due to a sudden heart issue, not police restraint. At least, that's what an expert medical witness testified today in defense of Derek Chauvin. The defense called its own medical expert today as it tries to refute multiple prosecution witnesses, who blame Chauvin's actions for George Floyd's death. CBS 4's Elise Preston has the latest from today's court hearing.

ELISE PRESTON: A retired forensic pathologist took the stand in the Derek Chauvin murder trial and disagreed with George Floyd's official cause of death.

DAVID FOWLER: Mr. Floyd died of a cardiac arrhythmia due to hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease during the restraint.

ELISE PRESTON: Dr. David Fowler listed the drugs in Floyd's system, as well as potential carbon monoxide poisoning from the vehicle exhaust, as contributing factors. He was also questioned about how much pressure Chauvin's knee put on Floyd's body.

ERIC NELSON: Is it your opinion that Mr. Chauvin's knee in any way impacted the structures of Mr. Floyd's neck?

DAVID FOWLER: No, it did not. None of the vital structures.

ELISE PRESTON: The defense needs just one juror to doubt multiple prosecution witnesses, who blame Floyd's death on low oxygen levels caused by how the former Minneapolis police officer held him down. Also Wednesday, Morries Hall, who was in the car with Floyd before the arrest, told the judge he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if called to testify.

MORRIES HALL: I'm fearful of criminal charges going forward.

ELISE PRESTON: His lawyer says any questions about the incident puts him in legal jeopardy.

ADRIENNE COUSINS: If Mr. Hall puts himself in that car, he exposes himself to constructive possession charges of the drugs that were found in that car.

ELISE PRESTON: The day began with a defense motion to acquit Chauvin, claiming prosecutors did not prove its case. The judge denied it. Elise Preston, CBS News, New York.

LAUREN PASTRANA: The judge said he expects closing arguments to begin next week.