Chauvin trial: Defense set to start presenting its case


In this image from video, defense attorney Eric Nelson, left, discusses motions before the court as defendant, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, right, and Nelson’s assistant Amy Voss, back, listen, Monday, April 12, 2021, as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides over the trial of Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. Chauvin is charged in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd. (Court TV, via AP, Pool)

MINNEAPOLIS (NewsNation Now) —  The defense for a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death was set to start presenting its case Tuesday.

Prosecutors on Monday neared the end of their case in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, calling George Floyd’s younger brother to the stand for emotional testimony about how his sibling grew up obsessed with basketball and doting on his mother.

“He was a big momma’s boy,” Philonise Floyd said after jurors looked at a picture of his older brother in his mother’s arms while Chauvin sat across the courtroom, writing notes on a yellow legal pad with his head down.

The younger Floyd, who at one point broke down in tears, was among the final witnesses called by the state. Prosecutors are expected to rest on Tuesday after finishing some procedural matters, calling no more witnesses.

Once the defense takes over, Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson is expected to have his own experts testify that it was Floyd’s drug use and bad heart, not Chauvin’s actions, that killed him. Closing statements are expected Monday.

The defense hasn’t said whether Chauvin will take the stand.

Chauvin, 45, has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges, arguing he was following the training he had received during his 19 years on the force.

On Monday, Judge Peter Cahill denied a defense request to sequester the jurors after police in a neighboring city fatally shot a Black man. Prosecutors continued their case with testimony from Philonise Floyd, a medical expert and a police use-of-force expert who said no “reasonable” officer would have done what Chauvin did.

Reuters’ Jonathan Allen and the Associated Press reporters Amy Forliti, Steve Karnowski and Tammy Webber contributed to this report. The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report

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