(CNN) — A judge in Minneapolis Friday rejected defense motions to postpone and relocate Derek Chauvin’s murder trial in the death of George Floyd.
The decision comes one week after the city agreed to pay $27 million to Floyd’s estate — an announcement defense lawyers argued prejudiced their client in the middle of jury selection.
The Minneapolis city council unanimously voted last week to settle a lawsuit with Floyd’s family.
The public announcement of the settlement in the middle of jury selection infuriated Chauvin’s defense, who argued that it prejudiced jurors against their client. Attorney Eric Nelson asked Judge Peter Cahill to move and delay the trial in light of the publicity.
“The fact that this came in the exact middle of jury selection — it’s perplexing to me, your honor, whose idea it was to release this information when it was released,” Nelson said.
Cahill also decided on Friday to admit limited evidence of a May 6, 2019, encounter between Floyd and police.
Floyd’s 2019 arrest came a little more than a year before Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes as Floyd told Chauvin and three other officers he couldn’t breathe.
“The whole point here is we have medical evidence on what happens when Mr. Floyd is faced with virtually the same situation,” the judge said.
The defense request for a trial delay came as the second week of jury selection came to a close in the trial of Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police officer accused of killing Floyd on May 25, 2020. Floyd’s final moments, recorded on video, led to widespread protests against police brutality and racism under the Black Lives Matter banner as well as incidents of unrest and looting.
The defense had previously requested that the trial be moved out of Minneapolis, but Cahill preliminarily rejected the request in November.
Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter charges. He has also pleaded not guilty to third-degree murder, a charge reinstated in the case last week.
Twelve of 14 jurors have already been selected. Two of those jurors will be alternates.
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