Derek Chauvin invoking his Fifth Amendment right not to testify. KARE 11 / YouTube
It was a drama-filled day in court as the defense for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin rested its case after two days of testimony from seven witnesses.
The day began with Chauvin invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Chauvin removed his mask and for the record, said he understood that the choice not to testify was his alone. At one point, he appeared to smirk when defense attorney Eric Nelson asked if he understood his decision. Jurors were not in the courtroom during this time.
A bit of high-stakes drama ensued next when prosecutor Jerry Blackwell attempted to submit new evidence to the court about the levels of carbon monoxide found in George Floyd’s blood during his autopsy.
The prosecution was attempting to counter the testimony of former Maryland Chief Medical Examiner Dr. David Fowler, a paid witness for the defense, who floated the idea that Floyd may have died due to exposure to carbon monoxide from a police car’s exhaust fumes as he lay on the ground pinned under Chauvin’s knee for over nine minutes.
Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell told the court that the new evidence came from Hennepin County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker who saw Fowler’s testimony on Wednesday.
Dr. Baker performed the official autopsy on Floyd and sought out the prosecution to inform them of the record of carbon monoxide levels found in Floyd’s blood. The information was not included in the initial report given to the state.