George Floyd: Key witness in murder trial seeks to avoid testifying

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
A painting of George Floyd.
A painting of George Floyd.
Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune / Getty Images
  • A key witness in the George Floyd murder case has sought to avoid giving evidence.
  • Morries Hall was with Floyd shortly before his alleged killing.
  • Police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial in the high-profile case.


A key witness in the trial of the police officer accused of murdering George Floyd sought Tuesday to avoid giving evidence as his lawyers said he could incriminate himself on separate charges.

Morries Hall, who was with Floyd in his car shortly before his death, is in custody and appeared by video camera at the hearing after he was subpoenaed to testify.

"There's really a very small narrow topic that might be permissible," Judge Peter Cahill said as Hall's lawyers argued that it was impossible for him to be cross-examined without incriminating himself.

Hall is seen as a potentially important witness for the defense of police officer Derek Chauvin, who was seen in a phone video kneeling on the neck of Floyd for more than nine minutes.

READ | George Floyd: Jury shown graphic footage of alleged murder

Graphic footage of Floyd's arrest touched off protests against racial injustice and police brutality in the United States and around the world.

Prosecutors are seeking to prove that Floyd's death was due to asphyxiation, while Chauvin's defense claims it was due to illegal drugs in Floyd's system.

Chauvin's lawyer Eric Nelson confirmed he wanted to ask if Hall sold or gave Floyd drugs.

Hall's lawyer said "there's an allegation here that Mr Floyd ingested a controlled substance as police were removing him from the car... This leaves Mr Hall potentially incriminating himself."

The judge said he would rule later on Hall's request not to testify.

Chauvin, who was sacked from the police force after the incident, has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and manslaughter.

Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo testified on Monday that Chauvin violated training policies by kneeling on Floyd's neck after he had stopped resisting.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Are you going to keep wearing a mask following the announcement that it is no longer required under law?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
No ways, I'm done
5% - 5687 votes
Yes, I still want to be cautious
91% - 107266 votes
Only certain circumstances
4% - 5088 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.27
-0.3%
Rand - Pound
19.81
-0.7%
Rand - Euro
17.05
-0.7%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.23
-0.6%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.9%
Gold
1,807.33
-0.6%
Silver
20.28
-2.2%
Palladium
1,938.00
-1.3%
Platinum
897.50
-2.2%
Brent Crude
116.26
-1.5%
Top 40
60,109
-2.4%
All Share
66,223
-2.3%
Resource 10
63,748
-3.2%
Industrial 25
79,405
-1.4%
Financial 15
14,686
-3.3%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE