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Court denies Derek Chauvin's request for public defender in appeal

Court denies Derek Chauvin's request for public defender in appeal
Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin had his request for public counsel to defend him in his appeal rejected on Wednesday. Photo courtesy Ramsey County Sheriff's Office/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 7 (UPI) -- The Minnesota Supreme Court has denied former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's request for a public defender.

Chauvin, 45, had requested a public defender to represent him while appealing his April conviction of killing George Floyd on Memorial Day of last year.

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The former police officer was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison in June after being found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for kneeling on the neck of a prostrate Floyd for more than nine minutes on May 25, 2020.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that Chauvin is not eligible for a public defender.

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"Having reviewed Chauvin's request, the information provided regarding his assets and debts, and the [Office of the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender]'s determination, we conclude that Chauvin has not established that he is entitled to appointed representation at this time," the ruling said.

The announcement came weeks after he filed an appeal to his conviction on 14 grounds, including claims the court that convicted him "abused its discretion" when it denied his motion to change trial venue and another motion for a continuation of a new trial.

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On that same day, Chauvin applied to be represented in his appeal by a public defender, stating he was "currently unrepresented by legal counsel."

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"Due to my current incarceration, I do not have the sufficient means to retain private counsel for the appeal," he said in the document. "I currently have no source income, besides nominal prison wages, nor do I own any real property or vehicles."

He said the only assets he has are two retirement accounts, and if he accessed them early he would incur "a significant penalty."

"The district court case for which I intend to appeal was paid for by the Minneapolis Peace and Police Officer's Association," he said, "and I have been informed that their obligation to pay for my representation terminate upon my conviction."

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