Major Step Nearly Complete in Derek Chauvin Trial

12 jurors seated, 2 alternates still needed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 19, 2021 12:17 AM CDT
Jury Selection Nearly Complete in Derek Chauvin Trial
Defense attorney Eric Nelson, left, defendant former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, right, and Nelson's assistant Amy Voss, back, listen as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides over jury selection in the trial of Chauvin March 17, 2021.   (Court TV, via AP, Pool)

Just two more jurors were needed for the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd's death, as the judge prepared to rule Friday on two major motions—including whether to allow evidence from Floyd's earlier 2019 arrest. The 12 jurors seated through Thursday are evenly split by race, with six white, four Black and two multiracial jurors, according to the court. The last two jurors chosen will be alternates, the AP reports. Seven of the seated jurors are female, five are male, and they range in age from 20s to 60s, the New York Times reports. Chauvin faces second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter charges, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.

Opening statements are March 29 if the jury is complete. That process was on track to finish nearly a week early despite news that the city would pay a $27 million settlement to Floyd's family. Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill is to rule Friday on Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson's motion to halt or move the trial due to concerns that the settlement had tainted the jury pool. But Cahill denied similar motions last year, and the settlement didn't emerge as a major factor in juror questioning. A likely bigger issue is Floyd's 2019 arrest, just a year before his fatal encounter with Chauvin. Cahill also previously denied the defense's attempt to allow the year-old arrest at trial. (More George Floyd stories.)

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