Apr 14, 2021 - Politics & Policy

George Floyd associate invokes 5th Amendment, will not testify in Chauvin trial

The entrance of Cup Foods, the site where George Floyd died, where people have laid flowers and signs.
The entrance of Cup Foods, the site of George Floyd's death, where people have laid flowers and signs. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Morries Hall, one of the passengers in George Floyd's car before his arrest, will not testify in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin after being permitted to invoke his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Why it matters: The presiding judge denied the defense's subpoena of Hall, thwarting their hopes of shedding more light on Floyd's past drug use. Chauvin's lawyers have sought to argue that Floyd's opioid use may have contributed to heart failure and ultimately his death.

What they're saying: “If Mr. Hall puts himself in that car, he exposes himself to constructive possession charges," argued Adrienne Cousins, Hall's attorney.

  • “I am fearful of criminal charges going forward. I have open charges that are not settled yet," Hall told the judge.

The big picture: Floyd's girlfriend, Courteney Ross, previously testified that Hall had sold drugs to Floyd in the past, per the New York Times.

  • At the time of Floyd's death, there were outstanding warrants for Hall's arrest on "felony possession of a firearm, felony domestic assault and felony drug possession," according to the Times.
Go deeper