MINNEAPOLIS — Jurors deciding the fate of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the alleged murder of George Floyd finished their first day of deliberations on Monday.
The 12-juror panel is due to resume deliberating on Tuesday morning.
The high-profile case was handed over to the jury around 4 p.m. local time on Monday, after more than two weeks of testimony.
The jury, of six white people and six people who are black or multiracial, adjourned about four hours later. They then retired to a hotel where they are being sequestered for this final phase of the trial.
The first day of deliberations came after nearly a full day of closing arguments, in which the defense argued that Chauvin used “reasonable force” while arresting Floyd, 46, on May 25.
Defense lawyer Eric Nelson also said that it was “nonsense” to ignore other possible factors in Floyd’s death, such as his drug use and heart condition.
But prosecutors maintained that Floyd died because the now-fired cop cut off his oxygen while kneeling on his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds during the arrest for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store.
“You were told, for example, that Mr. Floyd died because his heart was too big. You heard that testimony,” prosecutor Jerry Blackwell told the jurors.
“And now having seen all of the evidence, having heard all of the evidence, you know the truth. And the truth of the matter is, that the reason George Floyd is dead, is because Mr. Chauvin’s heart was too small.”
Chauvin, 45, has pleaded not guilty to all three charges: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
He faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of the top charge.
Each of the charges are to be considered separate, so Chauvin could be convicted of all, some or none of them.
It’s unclear how long the jury is expected to deliberate for.
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