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Chauvin will not testify in Floyd murder trial

The ex-officer accused of killing George Floyd says he will not testify on his own behalf as the defence rests their case and court is adjourned.

Derek Chauvin denies killing Mr Floyd. Jurors are due to begin deliberating his fate on Monday morning.

Video of Mr Chauvin kneeling on the neck of Mr Floyd led to worldwide protests against racism and policing.

Tensions in Minneapolis are running high after an unrelated police shooting of a black man in a nearby suburb.

Experts say it would be unusual for a suspect to take the stand in their own defence during a trial.

Before the jury was brought into the courtroom on Thursday, Mr Chauvin was asked a series of questions about his decision not to testify.

His defence lawyer, Eric Nelson, began by asking whether he and Mr Chauvin had previously discussed his decision.

"Correct," Mr Chauvin said several times.

"To say we've gone kind of back and forth on the matter is kind of understatement, isn't that right?" asked Mr Nelson.

"Yes it is," Mr Chauvin responded, as they both briefly smiled.

"I will invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege today," Mr Chauvin then told the court, referring to the constitutional right to stay silent in fear of self-incrimination.

Asked by the judge whether this was his decision alone, and whether anyone else had unfairly influenced his decision, Mr Chauvin responded: "No promises or threats, your honour."

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After prosecutors recalled an earlier witness - Dr Martin Tobin, who disputed the notion that Mr Floyd died of carbon monoxide poisoning - the judge adjourned the court until Monday.

What happens next?
The defence rested on Thursday, setting the stage for closing arguments from each side to happen on Monday.

Once the state and Mr Chauvin's defence have presented their closing arguments, the judge will send the jury into sequestration.

"Expect that when you report for duty on Monday that it will be followed by sequestration," Judge Peter Cahill told the jury this week. "So pack your bag." slotpg

While sequestered, the jury will be kept in a private location - typically a hotel - and must rely on their own memories of the lawyer's arguments and witness testimonies to render their verdict. They are given computers that contain all of the video and audio evidence that has been heard in court.
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