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More jury seats were filled today in the trial of Derek Chauvin, Esme Murphy reports (2:36). WCCO 4 News At 6 - March 15, 2021
- More jury seats were filled today in the trial of Derek Chauvin. The former Minneapolis police officer is charged in George Floyd's death. Jury selection started last week. There is room for 12 jurors and two alternates. So far, nine jurors have been seated. Our Esme Murphy is following all the developments in court. And she joins us now with the latest. Hi there, Esme.
ESME MURPHY: Hi there, Amelia. There were two jurors chosen today. It came just as the defense made two very big motions, one that could delay the trial and the other that could move it out of the metro in the wake of the $27 million settlement between George Floyd and his family.
- I'll start out by saying I'm so sorry.
ESME MURPHY: Derek Chauvin's defense attorney expressed what he called grave concerns over the timing of the settlement occurring in the middle of jury selection.
ERIC NELSON: The unanimous decision of the city council, for example, it just goes straight to the heart of the dangers of pretrial publicity.
ESME MURPHY: The prosecution played down the impact.
STEVE SCHLEICHER: I don't even know which way that cuts, if that cuts for us, if that cuts against us. You know, some jurors--
- Problem is, it cuts.
STEVE SCHLEICHER: What's that?
- The problem is, it cuts.
ESME MURPHY: As a result, the defense filed motions for a continuance or postponement of the case, a change of venue out of Minneapolis, and to have the seven jurors seated before the settlement brought back and requestioned and have jurors sequestered, which means put up in a hotel, for the entire trial, which is expected to take around four weeks.
The judge said he would bring back the seven jurors chosen earlier and requestion them. He said he would rule on the other motions later.
Despite concerns, jurors were seated. Juror eight is a black man in his 30s who is a banker and a youth sports coach. He said he had a neutral view of both Derek Chauvin and George Floyd and feels that discrimination is a widespread problem. Juror nine is a white woman in her 50s who is an executive assistant at a health clinic. She says she has a somewhat negative view of both Derrick Chauvin and Black Lives Matter.
- Like I said, all lives matter to me. It doesn't matter who they are, what they are. They all matter because we're all important in this world.
ESME MURPHY: Now, it's not clear when the judge is going to rule on those two big motions, the ones that could delay the trial and move it out of the city of Minneapolis. It does appear, though, that we will be ready for testimony to start on March 29. Jury selection moving at a good clip. Nine out of the 14 jurors, that's 12 jurors and two alternates, have already been chosen.
- All right. Thank you, Esme.