Judge seats juror in Derek Chauvin trial who has wedding planned for May 1
MINNEAPOLIS - A juror chosen for a panel for the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd on Wednesday said he had one potential problem — he’s scheduled to get married May 1 in Florida but was prepared to change his plans if the trial continues that long.
In court, Judge Peter Cahill explained to the juror that the case will start with opening statements and evidence on March 29, and the judge said he anticipates it to last roughly four weeks into April.
"I notice you say that you’re potentially getting married in April, tell me about that," Cahill asked the juror.
"I’m still getting married," the juror responds. "I believe at the time of the questionnaire we did not have a date, we have selected a date of May 1, so that does give me a little bit of cold feet about the situation," he continues.
The juror explained that the wedding is located in Florida and said flights have already been booked for the event.
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"Well, we never know how long jurors will be in deliberation," Cahill said.
The juror said he understood that he may have to make accommodations for the wedding date. "That’s me answering, not my fiancé," the juror said, as Cahill and others laughed in response.
"We’ll do our best to get you to your wedding," Cahill said as he informed the man he was on the jury. "Go ahead and throw me under the bus with your fiancée."
The long process of jury selection for the former Minneapolis police officer charged in Floyd’s death began Tuesday with five jurors picked and six others in the pool dismissed, including some who said they would not be able to set aside their views on what happened.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death, and jury selection is proceeding despite uncertainty over whether a third-degree murder charge will be added. The state has asked the Minnesota Court of Appeals to stop proceedings until that's resolved, which could mean a delay of weeks or months.
Floyd was declared dead on May 25 after Chauvin, who is White, pressed his knee against the Black man’s neck for about nine minutes. Floyd’s death sparked sometimes violent protests in Minneapolis and beyond, leading to a nationwide reckoning on race.
Chauvin and three other officers were fired in the wake of Floyd’s death. The others face an August trial on aiding and abetting charges.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.