The murder trial of ex-Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin wrapped up Thursday — with closing arguments in the high-profile case due to get underway on Monday.
The jury will then begin to deliberate whether Chauvin is guilty of the May 25 police custody death of George Floyd in the Minnesota city.
Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill told jurors they will be sequestered at a local hotel during the deliberations.
Thursday, the 14th day of testimony in the case, began with Chauvin telling the judge that he would not testify and instead invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.
The final witness called to the stand was Dr. Martin Tobin, a world-renowned respiratory expert who testified for prosecutors last week.
Tobin was recalled as a rebuttal witness to contest testimony from a defense witness, who said this week that carbon monoxide from a police vehicle could have contributed to Floyd’s death during his encounter with police.
The witness, retired coroner David Fowler, said the levels of carboxyhemoglobin — or carbon monoxide — in Floyd’s blood could have spiked as much as 18 percent.
Tobin rebutted that.
“Do you have an opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty that Mr. Floyd’s carboxyhemoglobin could have increased by 10 to 18 percent, is reliable?” Jerry Blackwell, a member of the prosecution team, asked Tobin.
“No, I believe it is not reliable,” the doctor said.
Tobin said Floyd’s blood was 98 percent saturated with oxygen when he arrived at the Hennepin County Medical Center on May 25, the day he died.
He said that leaves only a possible maximum of 2 percent carbon monoxide in Floyd’s blood — with normal levels being 0 to 3 percent.
“And so,” Blackwell asked, “in other words, as to the statement that his carboxyhemoglobin could have increased by 10 or 18 percent, in your view that’s not possible?”
“It’s simply wrong,” Tobin replied.
Chauvin, 45, faces second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter charges and faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted.