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Derek Chauvin Trial, Day 4: Judge Adds Murder Charge, 6th Juror Selected

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Derek Chauvin now faces an additional murder charge in the death of George Floyd.

Judge Peter Cahill reinstated a charge of third-degree murder against the former Minneapolis police officer Thursday morning.

Third-degree murder means causing death by a dangerous act while showing a "depraved mind." It typically carries a sentence of 12.5 years, and it's a charge that's widely considered easier for the prosecution to prove than the second-degree murder count Chauvin is also facing. He is also being tried on second-degree manslaughter.

Chauvin, seated next to defense attorney Eric Nelson, showed no emotion as the charge was added.

Judge Peter Cahill
Judge Peter Cahill (credit: CBS)

"The court of appeals and the supreme court have spoken," Nelson said. "On behalf of my client, I'm confident in the decisions that this court has made thus far."

The ruling cleared the way for jury selection to continue uninterrupted. At one point in the process, the prosecution accused the defense of racial bias for eliminating an Hispanic juror who had likened the fatal encounter to an outrageous act by an occupying force.

"I don't find that this was race based," Judge Cahill said.

He cited the relatively diverse group selected to the jury pool so far.

"One is multiracial, three are white, one is Hispanic and one is Black," Cahill said. "I see no pattern whatsoever from the defense of striking racial minorities," he said.

Steve Schleicher and Eric Nelson
Prosecutor Steve Schleicher and defense attorney Eric Nelson (credit: CBS)

The sixth juror is an Hispanic man in his 30s, who is a route driver and soccer fan. In the jury questionnaire, he said police are not biased toward minorities, and that he has an overall positive impression of police -- but not of Chauvin.

"You checked 'very negative,' so you have formed here already a very negative impression of Mr. Chauvin based on what you saw in that video?" defense attorney Eric Nelson said.

"Yes," the man said.

"You say, 'There was no reason for Chauvin to kneel on his neck for that long,' and, 'him just being stubborn, not wanting to let go gave me the impression of him just showing off his authority,' right?" Nelson said.

"Yes," the man said.

But the juror said he could put that aside.

Eric Nelson and Derek Chauvin on day 4 of his trial
Eric Nelson and Derek Chauvin (credit: CBS)

"[Chauvin is presumed innocent of the charges] until we see all the evidence and everything, witnesses," the man said.

So far, half of the six jurors chosen are People of Color. There is a biracial woman, a Black man, an Hispanic man and three white men. The jurors are relatively young, with all described as being possibly in their 30s.

While only one juror was picked Thursday, sources connected to this case say they are pleased with the fact they have already gotten six jurors picked, and they have Friday -- as well as the next two weeks -- to pick six more, plus two alternates.


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