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Attorney for former officer Thomas Lane opposes joint trial in George Floyd case

The motion was filed ahead of a scheduled hearing in the case for Friday.

MINNEAPOLIS — Defense attorneys and prosecutors are filing final motions with the court ahead of a Friday hearing in the George Floyd case.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's death in May. Video of Chauvin with his knee on Floyd's neck was seen around the world, and prompted days of unrest in the Twin Cities. 

Fellow former officers J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane are each charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

On Tuesday, Lane's attorneys filed two motions with the court, including an objection to the state's request to combine the four former officers' cases into one trial. 

In the motion, Lane's defense attorney Earl Gray argued that defenses are "inconsistent" for the four former officers, writing that it's "plausible that all officers have a different version of what happened" and could place blame on each other, leaving the jury to choose between the different stories.

In a second motion, Gray requested a change of venue to either Washington or Dakota counties, arguing that "an impartial trial cannot be had in Hennepin County."

Attorneys for the other former officers have also filed similar change of venue requests, with Kueng's attorney suggesting Stearns County and Thao's attorney proposing St. Louis, Clay, or Crow Wing counties. 

All four defendants have also filed motions to dismiss their cases entirely.

RELATED: Derek Chauvin's lawyers file to dismiss murder charges and change venue

RELATED: Kueng seeks dismissal or change of venue in George Floyd case

RELATED: Former officer Tou Thao files motion to dismiss charges in Floyd death

RELATED: State seeks longer potential sentences against former officers in George Floyd case

At Friday's scheduled hearing, Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill is expected to hear oral arguments on the state's request for a joint trial, as well as defense motions for change of venue and sequestering the jury.

Additional discussions are also expected about jury selection methodology and challenges, COVID-19 courtroom restrictions and media coverage.

Judge Cahill is expected to rule on all the various motions by Oct. 15 at the latest.


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