Live coverage has ended on this blog, please click here for closing arguments in Derek Chauvin's murder trial.
The defense in Derek Chauvin's murder trial in the death of George Floyd will continue its case on Thursday after calling just one witness the previous day.
Court recessed following extensive direct testimony from and cross-examination of defense expert witness Dr. David Fowler, a retired forensic pathologist who was the chief medical examiner for the state of Maryland for 17 years.
Evidence in the case now complete; closing arguments begin Monday
After recalling Dr. Martin Tobin Thursday morning as a rebuttal witness, the prosecution again rested its case, meaning no more evidence will be introduced in the Derek Chauvin trial.
The prosecution and defense are expected to deliver closing arguments on Monday.
Court will be in recess until then.
Addressing the jury, Judge Cahill reminded jurors they will be sequestered after closing arguments as they deliberate.
"The one thing you need to know today as you leave is: 'How much do I pack?'" he said. "If I were you, I would plan for long and hope for short."
Prosecution recalls pulmonary expert Dr. Martin Tobin
The prosecution recalled pulmonary expert Dr. Martin Tobin on Thursday after the defense rested its case.
Tobin previously testified at length about Floyd’s cause of death, attributing it to a lack of oxygen caused by his handcuffed and prone positioning with Derek Chauvin’s knees on his back and neck.
There was significant back and forth over the decision to recall Tobin, outside the ears of the jury. The prosecution wanted Tobin to testify about carbon dioxide in Floyd's blood to rebut the testimony of defense expert witness, Dr. David Fowler. Fowler testified Wednesday that Floyd could have been exposed to a significant amount of carbon dioxide from the tailpipe of the police squad car parked near where he was pinned to the ground.
Prosecutors also wanted to introduce new evidence, saying that they had learned since Wednesday that Hennepin County does, in fact, have tests on carbon monoxide levels in Floyd's blood.
The defense objected to the request to introduce new evidence, and the judge ruled they could not introduce it at the late hour. However, the judge said the state could recall Tobin, with one warning. If Tobin were to reference the new test results, the judge said, it could lead to a mistrial.
Tobin's testimony before the court was brief. He explained that tests of the oxygen saturation in Floyd's blood proves that there was no way he could have had more than 2 percent of carbon monoxide in his system, an amount that would not lead to poisoning. The prosecution then ended its questioning.
Defense rests, will call no more witnesses
The defense rested its case on Thursday morning after Derek Chauvin announced he would not testify.
The defense called seven witnesses, far fewer than the 38 called by the prosecution, which has the burden of proof.
Among those testifying for the defense were two expert witnesses, a former forensic pathologist and a use-of-force expert.
Closing arguments are expected to take place on Monday, before the case goes to the jury for deliberations.
Chauvin is charged with second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, 46.
Derek Chauvin says he will not testify
Derek Chauvin, the police officer on trial in the death of George Floyd, invoked his 5th Amendment right not to testify on Thursday.
Chauvin's decision comes after much speculation over whether or not he would take the stand.
The defense said they have discussed this issue with Chauvin several times before he made the decision not to testify.
Defense expert: Floyd died from heart trouble, not restraint
MINNEAPOLIS — George Floyd died of a sudden heart rhythm disturbance as a result of his heart disease, a forensic pathologist testified for the defense at former Officer Derek Chauvin's murder trial, contradicting prosecution experts who said Floyd succumbed to a lack of oxygen from the way he was pinned down.
Dr. David Fowler, a former Maryland chief medical examiner who is now with a consulting firm, said Wednesday the fentanyl and methamphetamine in Floyd's system, and possibly carbon monoxide poisoning from auto exhaust, were contributing factors in the 46-year-old Black man's death last May.
“All of those combined to cause Mr. Floyd’s death,” he said on the second day of the defense case.
Fowler also testified that he would classify the manner of death “undetermined,” rather than homicide, as the county's chief medical examiner ruled. He said Floyd's death had too many conflicting factors, some of which could be ruled homicide and some that could be considered accidental.
Prosecutors say Floyd died because the white officer's knee was pressed against Floyd’s neck or neck area for 9 1/2 minutes as he lay on the pavement on his stomach, his hands cuffed behind him and his face jammed against the ground.
Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell launched an aggressive cross-examination, attacking Fowler's findings down the line. He got Fowler to acknowledge that even someone who dies from being deprived of oxygen ultimately dies of an arrhythmia.
He also got Fowler to admit that he didn’t take the weight of Chauvin’s gear into account when he analyzed the pressure on Floyd’s body. Blackwell further accused Fowler of jumping to conclusions and suggesting to the jury that Floyd had a white pill in his mouth in the video of his arrest. Fowler denied saying that.