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Derek Chauvin refuses to testify as murder trial heads into closing arguments

The trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with murder in the death of George Floyd last May, is nearing its conclusion. The trial is being watched closely all around the country and internationally. The defense finished calling its witnesses Thursday, and Chauvin opted not to testify. Special correspondent Fred De Sam Lazaro has our latest update on the case.

Read the Full Transcript

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin is nearing its conclusion. Chauvin is charged with murder in the death of George Floyd last May.

    The trial is being watched closely, not only in Minnesota, but all around the country and internationally.

    The defense finished calling its witnesses.

    Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro has our report.

  • Fred de Sam Lazaro:

    The final day of testimony in the Derek Chauvin's trial began with confirmation that the defendant himself would not testify.

  • Judge Peter Cahill:

    Is this your decision not to testify?

  • Derek Chauvin:

    It is, Your Honor.

  • Fred de Sam Lazaro:

    With that, the defense rested their case.

  • Jerry Blackwell:

    Good morning, Your Honor.

  • Fred de Sam Lazaro:

    But the prosecution asked for pulmonologist Dr. Martin Tobin, who testified last Thursday, to retake the stand.

    The state hoped to rebut some points defense expert witness Dr. David Fowler made in testimony yesterday, particularly whether carbon monoxide from the police car exhaust could have been a factor in George Floyd's death.

  • Jerry Blackwell:

    So, in other words, as to the statement that his carboxyhemoglobin could've increased by 10 to 18 percent, in your view, that's not possible?

  • Dr. Martin Tobin:

    That's simply wrong.

  • Jerry Blackwell:

    And it was at most 2 percent.

  • Martin Tobin:

    At most 2 percent.

  • Jerry Blackwell:

    Normal?

  • Martin Tobin:

    Very — I mean, which is normal.

  • Fred de Sam Lazaro:

    The prosecution also sought to refute Fowler's claim that there is a lack of research on narrowing of the hypopharynx, an area critical for breathing, due to outside pressure.

  • Martin Tobin:

    There's probably at least a dozen, maybe 20 studies that show the relationship between how that if you lower size of the lungs, you must get a decrease in the size of the hypopharynx. All of the studies show that.

  • Fred de Sam Lazaro:

    After brief questioning of Tobin, the prosecution rested its case as well.

  • Jerry Blackwell:

    Your Honor, the state of Minnesota rests.

  • Peter Cahill:

    And, members of the jury, the evidence is now complete for this case.

  • Fred de Sam Lazaro:

    Closing arguments will begin Monday morning, with jury deliberations to follow.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Fred de Sam Lazaro.

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