Derek Chauvin Has to Pay for His Own Lawyer, Minnesota Supreme Court Rules

Derek Chauvin, the former Minnepolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd, can't hire a public defender.

Oct 6 2021, 9:14pm

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Derek Chauvin, the former Minnesota cop convicted of murdering George Floyd last May, is going to have to pull together the cash for his own attorney moving forward.

On Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Chauvin will not be eligible for a public defender. It’s the second time in two months the court denied his request for one because he doesn’t have the money to pay for an attorney on his own.

Last month, when Chauvin filed an appeal in the murder trial that found him guilty of second and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, court documents showed he had also filed for pauper status, which would allow him to retain a public defender and potentially waive court costs associated with his case. In appeal documents made public at the time, Chauvin insisted that he was already $142,000 in debt.

“I do not have a sufficient source of income, besides nominal prison wages, which are being used to pay off fees from the above captioned case,” Chauvin wrote at the time. “My only assets are two retirement accounts. If I take funds from said accounts, I will be significantly penalized and the remained will likely be taken to pay off debts.”

According to his filing, Chauvin owes the Internal Revenue Service $60,000 and the state $37,000. But the state Supreme Court ruled that doesn’t prove Chauvin’sinability to cover the costs of his own legal counsel.

During his trial, the costs for Chauvin’s defense attorney Eric Nelson was covered by the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association. Since his guilty verdict, however, the police union stopped footing the bill.

Even if Chauvin wins the appeal to his murder conviction, he’s not through with his legal troubles. He and three of his former Minneapolis Police Department colleagues still face federal civil charges in George Floyd’s death. Chauvin also faces two federal civil counts of deprivation of rights under color of law in connection to a 2017 encounter with a 14-year-old Black boy who he beat with a flashlight and applied a neck restrain with his knee until the teen passed out.


police, murder, RACISM, Race, I Can't Breathe, Brutality, george floyd, Minnesota Supreme Court

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