MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Attorneys for the two remaining former Minneapolis police officers facing aiding and abetting murder charges in the death of George Floyd are again asking for the trial to be moved out of Minneapolis.
Due to the widespread attention the case has drawn, the attorneys for J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao say their clients can't get a fair trial in Hennepin County. They are asking the case be moved to another county. In his request, Keung's attorney writes: "Mr. Floyd’s death, the criminal charging of Mr. Kueng et al and the riots had more media coverage in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area than any event in its history. There was saturation news coverage in the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press and the three TV networks. Nationwide, news coverage was more extensive than any story in fifty years. More importantly, with respect to the riots, the news coverage was oddly favorable to the rioters. Id. The volume and prejudicial nature of past coverage of these events has been substantial."
In its response, the state points out this is Kueng's fourth request to get a venue change, calling it "a last-ditch attempt [by Kueng] to evade judgment"
The state says the new request offers little new evidence from previous attempts which have been denied by Judge Peter Cahill. Last year, Cahill denied a motion for a venue change for Chauvin's trial. Chauvin's attorney has cited that decision in Chauvin's appeal for a new trial, among a list of other claims.
Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder in Floyd's death last year while co-defendant Thomas Lane pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting manslaughter charges this month. Chauvin also pleaded guilty to federal charges of violating George Floyd's civil rights while Lane, Keung, and Thao were found guilty in federal court.
The trial for Thao and Keung is set to start next month.