George Floyd’s friend, who was in the car with him on May 25, 2020 when they were confronted by police, appeared via Zoom in front of Judge Peter Cahill this morning to determine if he will testify in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin.
Morries Hall is on the prosecution’s potential witness list. However, his lawyer says he will cite the Fifth Amendment if called to testify, because some topics of his testimony could incriminate him.
In a document filed last week, public defender Adrienne Cousins asked for his subpoena to be quashed since he will not answer questions.
“This is what I’m going to propose. We’re not done with this today. I think we have pretty much established or based on what Mr. Nelson said, there is really a very small narrow topic that might be permissible,” Judge Cahill said in today’s hearing.
The judge said there will be a future hearing on Hall’s testimony, and he has asked that defense attorney Eric Nelson draft written questions that he would like Hall to answer. Hall can then meet with his lawyers to discuss whether he will answer them. The judge said he wants the questions submitted by Thursday and then he can review the questions and make a determination on whether Hall will testify.
“That way Mr. Hall can meet with lawyers and talk about would he be willing to answer those. Then we can have another hearing, outside of the hearing of the jury, and walk through and see if, number one if, I based on my review of the examination, I believe that it is proper invocation of the fifth amendment rights to that or not, on question by question basis,” the judge said.
Some more background: Hall has been in jail since March 24 on unrelated charges of domestic abuse, assault and violating a protective order. He appeared in front of a different judge Monday morning in that case.