Defense testimony could wrap up as soon as today in the Derek Chauvin trial. The cause of George Floyd’s death remains the key issue in Derek Chauvin’s trial. The state contends that Floyd died mostly as a result of Chauvin’s deadly force. But retired forensic pathologist for the defense, Dr. David Fowler testified Wednesday that in his opinion “Mr. Floyd had a sudden cardiac arrhythmia due to his hypertensive heart disease during his restraint and subdual by the police.” But when Dr. Fowler testified that cardiac arrhythmia can result in sudden death, the state pushed back. On cross-examination, Dr. Fowler said the exact time of Floyd’s death was hard to pinpoint and prosecutor Jerry Blackwell asked if Chauvin should’ve tried to revive George Floyd in the time between when Floyd was in cardiac arrest and when he died. Dr. Fowler responded: “immediate medical attention for a person that’s gone into cardiac arrest may well reverse that process.” Blackwell: “Do you feel that Mr. Floyd should’ve been given immediate emergency attention to reverse the cardiac arrest?” Dr. Fowler: “As a physician, I would agree.”
Also on Wednesday, Dr. Fowler testified that he would rule George Floyd’s manner of death undetermined. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner ruled Floyd’s death a homicide. Dr. Fowler also testified that carbon monoxide poisoning from the police squad vehicle may have been a factor in George Floyd’s death, explaining,”[Floyd’s] face was facing towards the vehicle, towards the rear of the vehicle, and directly towards the area where you would expect the tailpipe, or tailpipes of the vehicle to be.” Blackwell asked Dr. Fowler if he’d seen any air monitoring data about what amount of carbon monoxide, if any, had been in George Floyd’s breathing zone. Dr. Fowler responded: “No because it was not tested.” Blackwell: “You haven’t seen any have you?” Dr. Fowler: “I have not seen any data.” As the defense gets ready to wrap up its case, the big question remains–will Derek Chauvin testify in his own trial?