Attorneys in the trial of Derek Chauvin made arguments on Tuesday about whether George Floyd’s friend, who was in the front passenger seat of a vehicle with Floyd when he was initially questioned by police in May, should be forced to testify.
On March 31, a notice filed by the Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office said that Morries Hall, the friend of Floyd’s who was with him the day of his death, would “invoke his fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination” if called to testify.
Hall was identified as a potential witness by both the prosecution and defense teams.
On Tuesday, Judge Peter Cahill considered arguments, without the jury in the room, from Hall’s attorney, Adrienne Cousins, and lawyers from the defense and prosecution, regarding if Hall should be compelled to testify.
Through his attorney, Hall said if he were forced to answer questions in Chauvin’s trial, he would be exposed to a possible third-degree murder charge and other potential felony charges.
Cousins said that Hall “has been provided no immunity, no protection for his testimony whatsoever.”
“I cannot envision any topics that Mr. Hall would be called to testify on that would be both relevant to the case that would not incriminate him,” she said.
Hall was present in the courtroom via video.
Defense attorney Eric Nelson said that he was interested in asking Hall about what he and Floyd were doing together on the day of the incident, if a counterfeit bill was exchanged between the two men, and questions regarding Floyd’s drug use.
After nearly 30 minutes of arguments, Cahill announced his plan to have Nelson draft some limited questions he would ask Hall, then bring them back Thursday for discussion, the Star Tribune reported.