Judge denies Chauvin defense's motion for a mistrial, but says Rep. Maxine Waters' comments 'could lead to this whole trial being overturned'

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Haven Orecchio-Egresitz
·2 min read
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maxine waters
Rep. Maxine Waters. Andrew Harnik/Associated Press
  • Derek Chauvin's defense cited comments from US Rep. Maxine Waters in a motion for a mistrial.

  • Over the weekend, Waters called on protesters to stay on the streets if there's no guilty verdict.

  • Judge Peter Cahill denied the motion but said Waters may have given the defense a successful appeal.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Two nights before the Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd, US Rep. Maxine Waters visited Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, and called on protesters to "stay on the street" and "get more confrontational" if there is no guilty verdict.

On Monday, the fired Minneapolis police officer's defense cited those words to call for a mistrial.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson said that Waters' comments over the weekend, paired with recent Chauvin content in fictional TV shows, furthered his earlier argument that the judge should have sequestered the jury and ordered them to avoid all media throughout the trial.

Judge Peter Cahill denied the motion for a mistrial. But he spoke harshly about the elected officials who spoke out about the trial while it was still unfolding, saying they have a constitutional duty not to interfere with the legal process.

"I'll give it to you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned," Cahill said.

Chauvin was ultimately convicted on all charges - including two counts of murder and one of manslaughter - in Floyd's killing.

A message seeking comment from Waters' office was not immediately returned late Monday afternoon.

Cahill said he doesn't think the jury was prejudiced by elected officials' comments because they were instructed not to watch the news. Jurors are expected to be sequestered in a hotel until they have a verdict.

"I wish that elected officials would stop talking about the case," Cahill said. "Their failure to do so is abhorrent, but I don't think it's prejudiced the jury."

"A congresswoman's opinion doesn't really matter a whole lot," he added.

Read the original article on Insider