On Thursday, the judge handling the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd rejected a request from the prosecution to enter ‘newly discovered evidence.’
The evidence contained information about the amount of carbon monoxide in Floyd’s body at the time of his arrest. However, Judge Peter Cahill warned of a mistrial if the results were mentioned by their witness before the jury, stating that it was unfair to the defense.
"It's untimely to give the notice and it prejudiced the defense by the late disclosure, even if it's not due to bad faith but the late disclosure has prejudiced the defense, it's not going to be allowed," Cahill declared
The Hill reports:
Cahill said the prosecution had an opportunity earlier to provide the evidence since it knew Fowler was raising the issue of carbon monoxide. He said allowing it now would prejudice the jury.
Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell had told the court that the state had just received blood gas evidence from Hennepin County Medical Examiner Andrew Baker, who performed Floyd's autopsy, that contained readings for the carbon monoxide content in his blood on the day he was arrested.
The evidence, Blackwell said, was discovered after a former chief medical examiner called by the defense as an expert witness speculated in court that Floyd could have been exposed to carbon monoxide when he was pressed to the ground under Chauvin’s knee near a squad car last May.
Though the witness, David Fowler, said he had no knowledge of whether Floyd’s blood had even been tested for carbon monoxide, he pointed to potential carbon monoxide poisoning when listing each of the factors he felt played a role in his death.
Blackwell grilled Fowler, the defense’s sole witness who took the stand on Wednesday, over the statements during cross-examination later that day.
“You agree as an expert witness that you shouldn't jump to conclusions? That is, you should reach fair conclusions based upon a careful considered analysis?” Blackwell asked Fowler and he agreed.
“Do you agree that you shouldn't come at this in a way that's biased? You agree with that, don't you? You shouldn't cherry-pick facts?” Blackwell then pressed. “You shouldn't try to confuse the jury!”
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