Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd, will not take the witness stand in his murder trial. After Chauvin affirmed his decision to invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to testify, his defense rested its case.
Eric Nelson, Chauvin's lawyer, argued that Floyd died because of underlying health conditions and illegal drug use. The defense called seven witnesses to rebut the prosecution's claims that Floyd died as a result of asphyxia after being pinned down for over nine minutes by Chauvin. They also argued that Chauvin's actions were appropriate and that the crowd that gathered during the arrest distracted him.
One of those witnesses, Dr. David Fowler, a forensic pathologist, claimed that Floyd "had a sudden cardiac arrhythmia, or cardiac arrhythmia, due to his atherosclerosis and hypertensive heart disease." He also suggested that carbon monoxide from a nearby squad car could have contributed to his death, though he provided no evidence to back up the claim.
Closing arguments are scheduled to begin on Monday (April 19).
Chauvin is charged with second-and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd.
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