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Jurors still deliberating in Derek Chauvin murder trial

Chao Xiong and Paul Walsh, Star Tribune on

Published in News & Features

MINNEAPOLIS — Jurors remained in deliberations into the afternoon Tuesday in the Derek Chauvin murder trial, after being given the case late Monday.

The jury heard nearly six hours of closing arguments from opposing attorneys Monday in Hennepin County District Court about whether the former Minneapolis police officer should be convicted or acquitted of killing George Floyd May 25, 2020, at 38th and Chicago by pinning him to the pavement until he died.

Deliberations began late Monday afternoon and wrapped up about 8 p.m. They resumed at 8 a.m. Tuesday. As of early Tuesday afternoon, the jurors have been out more than eight hours.

They are being sequestered throughout their deliberations and until the verdicts are read in court and livestreamed before a worldwide audience.

Chauvin, 45, is free on bond while the jury works toward unanimous verdicts on second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

The 12-person jury has six people who are white, four who are Black and two who are multiracial. Two are in their 20s, three in their 30s, three in their 40s, three in their 50s and one in their 60s. Seven are woman, and five are men.

 

Three other fired officers who assisted in Floyd being restrained stomach-down for more than nine minutes — J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao — are scheduled to be tried in August on charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.

Moments after the jury was dismissed Monday, there was discussion in court about prosecutors' pursuit of a sentence longer than state sentencing guidelines call for should Chauvin be convicted. They state raised numerous aggravating factors, including that Floyd was especially vulnerable, Chauvin was a uniformed police officer acting in a position of authority, and his acts were witnessed by children, one of them 9 years old.

Chauvin waived his right to have a jury rule on aggravating factors and said in court that he would have Judge Peter Cahill decide if the jury returns one or more guilty verdicts.

At the outset Monday, prosecutor Steve Schleicher reminded jurors that Floyd said "I can't breathe" 27 times in the first 4 minutes and 45 seconds of this encounter. The prosecutor also said "9 minutes and 29 seconds" all throughout his presentation, reminding jurors of the length of time that Chauvin had Floyd pinned to the pavement.

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