The murder case against Derek Chauvin’s three former colleagues was set for trial before Judge Peter Cahill on a date certain this August. At a motion hearing in the case this morning, however, Judge Cahill rescheduled the trial to March 7, 2022, in deference to the federal civil rights case filed against all four defendants in Minnesota federal district court. As of this moment, the court has sent out an announcement of the new trial date with no companion order. The Associated Press story on today’s motion hearing is here
Judge Cahill has done his best to address fair trial issues in the case against Chauvin and the three other men. I don’t agree with his resolution of all these issues, but I think he has dealt with them seriously. I noted when the federal charges were announced that the Department of Justice had now compounded the difficulties he faced in the case set for trial in August.
The AP story does not quote Cahill directly. It states that he seeks “to allow the publicity over Derek Chauvin’s conviction to cool off” and to let the federal case “go forward first.” Let’s see how the Minnesota federal district court deals with the fair trial issues the Department of Justice has compounded in the three cases yet to be tried.
Perhaps mistakenly, I sense frustration Judge Cahill’s deference to trial of the federal case brought by the Department of Justice. They have serious fair trial issues of their own. He is telling the feds they can take it away.