Morries Hall, the man who was in the car with George Floyd the day that he died, appeared via Zoom at a court hearing Tuesday (April 6), where his attorney argued for him invoking his fifth amendment right against self-incrimination.
Hall’s lawyer, Adrienne Cousins, an assistant Hennepin County public defender, told Judge Peter Cahill during Tuesday’s hearing, “Your honor, I cannot envision any topic that Mr. Hall would be called to testify on that would be both relevant to the case that would not incriminate him. Mr. Hall’s testimony in these matters would specifically put him in the position of being in very close proximity to Mr. Floyd, in a vehicle where drugs were found during a search by police following Floyd’s death.”
Last week, Courtney Ross, Floyd’s girlfriend at the time of his death, testified that Hall sold drugs to Floyd. Cousins argued that Hall’s testimony could leave him open to a third-degree murder charge if the drugs Floyd ingested shortly before his death were linked to Hall.
Derek Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, stated that he wanted to question Hall about Floyd’s behavior in the SUV that day, where Floyd got the counterfeit $20 bill, whether Floyd obtained drugs from him, their activities before they arrived at Cup Foods, their interactions with employees inside the store, why he and Floyd gave police false names and why Hall left the state immediately after Floyd’s death. Nelson also stated he intends to ask Hall about what was in a backpack he was seen holding during the encounter with police, as he claims Hall threw something out of the backpack, which was seen on security footage.
Judge Peter Cahill asked Nelson to put his questions in writing, adding that he is considering allowing Nelson only to question Hall about Floyd suddenly falling asleep in the SUV, but nothing further. Judge Cahill added that he will hold a hearing to determine whether Hall can answer further questions without incriminating himself, and he will determine whether Hall will be able to take the stand after reviewing Nelson’s questions.