The judge in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial has determined that he will not let prosecutors bring up new evidence—lab tests with information about George Floyd’s carbon monoxide levels—with their rebuttal witness.
Prosecutors, it has been revealed in court, apprised Chauvin’s defense that the county medical examiner had uncovered lab results that spoke to Floyd’s carbon monoxide levels.
The county medical examiner told prosecutors that he had found these results after listening to testimony from Dr David Fowler, a defense witness who said Wednesday that Floyd might have suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning prior to his death. Fowler had said that Floyd’s blood should have been tested on this issue.
Judge Peter Cahill has decided that prosecutors cannot bring up these test results when calling their rebuttal witness, saying that it was too late and wouldn’t be fair to Chauvin’s defense.
“I find that Dr Fowler’s report gave sufficient notice [to] the state that the carbon monoxide that was in George Floyd’s blood could have affected cause of death,” Cahill has said of an assessment that Fowler revealed months ago. “Basically, Dr Fowler came right out and said it should be tested.”
This gave prosecutors time to either test any blood samples from Floyd that might remain, or find old lab results on this topic, and turn them over to Chauvin’s defense.
“It seems to be me very odd,” Cahill remarks about the medical examiner’s new discovery of these pertinent results. While Cahill says he didn’t think prosecutors acted in bad faith, “it’s untimely to give the notice and it prejudiced the defense by the late disclosure.”
“It’s not going to be allowed.”
“Dr Tobin will not be able to testify about those lab results,” Cahill said of Dr Martin Tobin, an expert pulmonologist who previously testified for the prosecution, and is being re-called today.
“If he even hints there are test results that the jury has not heard about, there’s going to be a mistrial, pure and simple.”
Tobin can testify about carbon monoxide, however, if he “sticks to the environmental factors,” such as looking at videos and opining on the likelihood of gas exposure.
Tobin’s testimony is expected to begin at 10:15 am CT.