Derek Chauvin denied request for public defender in appeals process by Minnesota Supreme Court

Derek Chauvin denied request for public defender in appeals process by Minnesota Supreme Court

October 7, 2021

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Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was denied his request for a public defender by the Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday as he appeals his conviction and 22 1/2-year sentence for the murder of George Floyd. 

Chauvin previously said the only money he has are prison wages when he filed an appeal on his own behalf last month asking for a delay in the process until he could get a public defender. The Office of the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender previously determined that Chauvin was ineligible. 

Chauvin said the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association’s legal defense fund paid for his legal fees during his trial but was no longer obligated after his conviction. 

The justices on Wednesday reviewed his debts and assets and found he had not established that he was entitled to a public defender, Chief Justice Lorie Gildea wrote. He may seek a public defender in the future if he’s unable to pay for a lawyer, the court said.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson, left, and defendant, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, address Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, April 15, 2021. 
(Court TV via Associated Press)

Chauvin gave 14 reasons for his appeal, claiming the trial should have been moved from Hennepin County where Floyd was killed because of publicity and that the jury should have been sequestered, among other things. 

The former officer also faces federal charges of violating Floyd’s civil rights. He has pleaded not guilty.  

Three other former officers are facing charges in connection with Floyd’s death.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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