State expected to rest their case this week in Derek Chauvin trial

Derek Chauvin (right) with his attorney, Eric Nelson (left), in court on Wednesday, April 7. (FOX 9)

During week three of the Derek Chauvin trial, the state is expected to rest their case, handing things over to the defense to start calling witnesses.

The state is expected to call a cardiologist as a medical expert during week three. They’re also expected to call their "spark of life" witness. That’s testimony allowed in the state of Minnesota, usually given by a family member, that lets the jury hear more about the victim in a case. it’s expected that a member of George Floyd’s family will take the stand this week to give "spark of life" testimony.

After the state is finished calling their witnesses, they will rest their case. At that time, it’s typical for the defense to file a motion for acquittal, claiming the state did not provide enough evidence to send the case to a jury. Legal experts say it’s unlikely a motion like this would be approved in this case.

"From what I saw I think he got all of the elements at least to get it to a jury whether or not they believe it is always an issue," Michel Bryant, an attorney with Bradshaw and Bryant, said.

He said during this process the defense could once again argue against the third-degree murder charge Chauvin is facing. If the judge decides to move forward with the case, the defense will start calling witnesses.

The defense is expected to call a use-of-force expert and a medical expert who will likely elaborate on arguments the defense is trying to make about the scene police were dealing with and call into question Floyd’s cause of death.

"Both experts are going to be really important because you’re going to hear a use-of-force expert that’s going to talk about the police action that was done. I would expect they’ll talk a lot more about the crowd and the impact the crowd had on things. Then, the medical expert will testify about the bruising. He’s going to testify about drugs, he’s going to testify about the heart issues," Bryant said.

Bryant says one of the biggest unknowns in the case is whether or not Derek Chauvin will testify.

"He doesn’t have to testify. Under our constitution he’s not required, you’re not required, to testify against yourself so they can’t use that against him if he doesn’t testify but it will be interesting to see if he does testify and what’s done with his testimony," Bryant said.

This week we’re also expecting to learn more about video from Minneapolis Park Police the defense laid the foundation to use. We’re also expecting to learn more about an encounter Floyd had with police one year before his death.

Bryant says, depending on who testifies, the state could bring up information about two use of force complaints against Chauvin that the judge has allowed into evidence.

The jury is scheduled to be back in court on Monday at 9:15 a.m.