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Judge Sets Trial Date for Former Minnesota Cops in Alleged Murder of George Floyd

Minneapolis, Police Officers, Former, Cops, George Floyd, Murder, Killing, Knee, Neck

Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, J Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Kiernan Lane

A Minnesota state court judge has set a trial date for one or several of the former Minneapolis police officers accused of murdering or otherwise playing a role in murdering George Floyd.

“The first trial will commence on March 8, 2021, at 9:00 a.m.,” judge Peter A. Cahill wrote. But the judge left open to uncertainty precisely who will be tried on that date or where the trial will be held.

“Location of trial will be determined at a later date,” the court document says. “Order of trial of individual defendants and whether some or all defendants are to be joined for trial will be decided at a later date.” In other words, all four defendants may or may not be tried together.

Judge made the announcements in a scheduling order late Tuesday and made public in the court docket Wednesday morning.

Derek Chauvin is accused of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder (for committing an eminently dangerous act), and second-degree manslaughter (culpable negligence creating an unreasonable risk).  Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Kiernan Lane are accused of aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

The order also sets forth other deadlines. Discovery must be disclosed by Aug. 14, 2020. Most motions are due Aug. 28. A draft of a proposed jury questionnaire is due Nov. 1.  Motions in limine (which deal with evidence matters), witness lists, and final proposed jury instructions are due Feb. 8. Exhibit lists are due March 1.

Earlier this week, defendant J. Alexander Kueng’s attorneys filed court documents which state they will argue self defense.

Cameras will not be allowed in pretrial hearing in the cases.  A judge has yet to decide whether cameras will be allowed during the trial or trials.

The judge’s order says “[a]ny extensions or other changes” of the dates listed above “will be made only for good cause shown by written motion supported by affidavit.”

“Neither a conflict with other court appearances nor agreement of the parties is in itself good cause for extension,” it further states. Thus, per the order, the dates are unlikely to change.

Plus, if history repeats itself, the date will remain set. Four separate scheduling orders in the Minnesota case involving the 2017 shooting of Justine Damond consistently left defendant Mohamed Noor‘s trial date intact. He was, indeed, tried starting Apr. 1, 2019, the original scheduled date.

READ the document below.

Scheduling Order – George Floyd Cases by Law&Crime on Scribd

[images via mugshots]

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University.  He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network who now contributes to the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only.  You should not rely on it for legal advice.  Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.  This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.  Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.