Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill rejected the proposal to include new evidence regarding the trial of Derek Chauvin.
He told prosecutors that considering the information about carbon dioxide levels in George Floyd’s blood might backfire if Martin Tobin, one of the witnesses in the trial, had already disclosed the results of carbon dioxide testing performed after Floyd’s death.
Warning of the possibility of a mistrial, Cahill emphasized that such a late-stage disclosure is not compatible with how the jury usually operates.
Cahill’s rejection came as a reaction to Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell’s Thursday announcement that the state possesses the evidence collected by Hennepin County Medical Examiner Andrew Baker.
The data allegedly revealed that the autopsy of George Floyd’s body showed that the late Minneapolis resident’s blood contained carbon dioxide, possibly because of his forceful arrest on the ground.
Judge Cahill explained that Tobin, a pulmonologist by vocation, is allowed to further discuss the possible environmental factors surrounding Floyd’s death, including those related to carbon dioxide exposure.
Yet, the judge remained firm in his statement that the late-state disclosure from the prosecution should not be allowed as it may ‘prejudice the defense.’
Waiting for the trial outcome
The trial aims at settling the issue of Derek Chauvin’s responsibility for the death of George Floyd.
The former police officer from Minneapolis became well-known when a video of his forceful arrest of George Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis, circulated the globe.
The video showed Chauvin arresting Floyd while placing his leg on his head.
Just several days after the capture, Floyd died in police custody.
The event sparked protests that spread throughout the country, eventually taking place in numerous cities outside the U.S.
Chauvin now faces charges on three counts: second-degree manslaughter, second-degree unintentional felony murder, and third-degree murder.
If found guilty, the former police officer is potentially facing between 10 and 20 years in prison.
The maximum sentence Chauvin could receive is 40 years in prison.
Given that Floyd was not in the best health at the time of arrest and that traces of opioids such as fentanyl were found in his blood, it is unlikely that Chauvin would receive anything close to the maximum sentence.