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Jennifer Mayerle reports on what the participants in the trial went through during the prosecution of Derek Chauvin in George Floyd's death (4:44). WCCO 4 News - April 20, 2021
JASON DERUSHA: As we continue our breaking news coverage, I want to recap what we know from the WCCO newsroom this afternoon. We do know that the jury in the trial of Derek Chauvin has reached a verdict. We don't know what the verdict is. The jury notifies the court that they have a verdict. That verdict will be read in court sometime between 3:30 and 4:00 Central time here in downtown Minneapolis. That reading of the verdict will be live right here on WCCO TV, streaming as well on CBSN Minnesota.
Our Jennifer Mayerle has been covering this story as all of our reporters have since it happened last Memorial Day. She joins us live with some insight. Hi, Jen.
JENNIFER MAYERLE: Hi, Jason. Yes, it's interesting to see this happening today. We spoke with a juror in the Mohamed Noor trial who said that they, deliberated one night at sequestrations, deliberated for 11 hours, similar to this timing, who said this was a difficult process, that he still thinks about to this day, and makes me think about the jurors in this case and the weight that they must be feeling today as they deliver this verdict.
Of course, we are waiting to hear what that verdict is, but these 12 jurors live in Hennepin County, who have been tasked with listening to all the evidence in this case throughout the last few weeks. And now, being sequestered for the last overnight and coming to a decision in this case. We have been watching testimony like you have, Jason, every day, listening to the witnesses and, of course, closing arguments yesterday, where the prosecution and defense gave their kind of final case to the jury, things that we heard throughout the trial.
The prosecution saying that Derek Chauvin's knee on George Floyd's neck is the cause of his death and that the jury should find Derek Chauvin guilty, of course. And we're waiting to hear what the jurors did decide. The defense saying that the state failed to provide beyond a reasonable doubt the guilt of Derek Chauvin, that there are other factors that played a role in George Floyd's death, and that he should be found not guilty. So again, we will wait to see what the jurors say, but we do know this is a heavy burden on them.
We know, we've talked to jurors in other high profile cases, against Scott Vetsch. He was in the Mohamed Noor case, who said this is something that he still thinks about daily. And now, he feels he had been watching and listening to this trial with great interest feeling like he knows more about what this process is like. He did tell me that during deliberations, you don't have your phone. They did have a TV in this case, the jurors did not, and that it was intense. The time was intense and that he had to do that for more than one day. I can't imagine what that would have been like, Jason.
JASON DERUSHA: Jen, did he talk about how different it was to watch the trial as a viewer, as all of us did, as compared to how he watched the trial as a juror, his trial in the Noor case?
JENNIFER MAYERLE: You know, interesting in his case, he said, you know, you had to pay attention to every detail. He called it exhausting and emotionally taxing, just saying it took so much out of you when you had to listen to such detail because you didn't want to miss anything. Yes, you could take notes, but really had to pay close attention. He said, he works a physical job. He said, at the end of the day, he would just be exhausted, just spent, and didn't do anything at night after the trial because it took everything out of him.
He says, now, listening as a viewer to this, he listens-- maybe similar to us, but with a different perspective because he knows what it's like to sit-in that seat and have the responsibility of the fate of so many in his hands. And the one thing that he said to me, that really stuck with me, is he said, this was so hard because you listen to all of this and you couldn't fix anything. You couldn't change what happened. What their role is is to look at what they can do now, with what was presented in court. And he said he still is watch-- was watching the trial in this case with a different lens, a different perspective of what those jurors might be going through.