Derek Chauvin’s defense attorney has made several requests concerning the George Floyd murder case, according to court documents filed Monday.
Defense attorney Eric Nelson, who represents Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer facing second-degree murder and manslaughter charges for the May 2020 death of George Floyd, reportedly filed a motion calling on the judge to keep prosecutors from drawing comparisons between Floyd and Jesus.
The defense seeks to prevent an expert from drawing comparisons between the death of Floyd, who died after Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, and the crucifixion of Jesus.
Such comparisons would be prejudicial, the defense claims. In addition, the defense would like to preclude Floyd from being referred to as a “victim” and keep Chauvin from being characterized as a “defendant,” by witnesses and prosecutors.
The defense did, however, ask that testimony about Floyd’s opiate addiction be permitted in court.
Significantly, Nelson also said in the documents that prosecutors should not be allowed to reinstate a third degree murder charge against Chauvin.
Prosecutors filed a motion Thursday to reinstate the charge after a Minnesota Court of Appeals ruling last week that upheld, in a 2-1 decision, a third-degree murder conviction against former Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor for the 2017 fatal shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
The third-degree murder charge had been dismissed in October by Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill.
According to Nelson, the third-degree murder charge shouldn’t be reinstated because the decision in the Noor’s case has not yet become legal precedent because the attorneys in the case still have time to change the decision.
According to the motion filed by Nelson, rulings by the Court of Appeals aren’t final until 30 days after the opinion was issued as long as the defendant has not petitioned for the state Supreme Court to review the case, which would delay the point at which the decision would be finalized.
Noor’s attorney said he plans to petition the state Supreme Court to review the lower court’s decision.
Further, the defense asks that no police be called on to testify about how they might have handled the situation differently, and that no paramedics speak about Floyd’s manner of death.
Chauvin is expected to stand trial on March 8. J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, the other now-fired Minneapolis officers who were present when Floyd died, have been charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter and will be tried at one trial on Aug. 23.