George Floyd’s Drug Dealer Refuses to Testify to Avoid ‘Self-Incrimination’
Morries Hall invoked his Fifth Amendment right
George Floyd's alleged drug dealer, Morries Hall, who was with him during his arrest on May 25, has invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Hall’s lawyer argues his client’s testimony could land him a third-degree murder charge due to his alleged drug activity with the 46-year-old before arrest.
The defense attorney for former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, Eric Nelson, says Floyd received drugs from Hall before the incident.
He adds Hall could testify about what went on in the Cup Foods store regarding the alleged counterfeit money.
“This will include evidence that while they were in the car, Mr. Floyd consumed what were thought to be two Percoset [painkiller] pills,” Nelson said during his opening statement, ABC News reported.
Hall, Floyd, and his ex-girlfriend were sitting in a Mercedes Benz SUV before events transpired.
“Mr. Floyd’s friends will explain that Mr. Floyd fell asleep in the car and that they couldn’t wake him up to get going, that they thought the police might be coming because now the store [employees] were coming out,” Nelson continued.
Nelson would also ask Hall about “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. He also said he intends to ask Hall about what was in a backpack he was seen holding during the encounter with police," ABC News noted.
Adrienne Cousins, Hall’s lawyer, filed for a motion to block subpoenas from both the prosecution and defense teams.
“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,” Cousins told Judge Peter Cahill on Tuesday.
“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.”
She argued her client’s testimony could be a “link in the chain” to Floyd’s death.
Judge Cahill is also considering options concerning testimony from Hall, including non-self-incriminating questions.
But Prosecutor Matthew Frank argued that narrow-scope questioning would not work.
“This questioning would not exist in a vacuum,” he said.
“There would be other questioning, and we would have the right to question him about his credibility and other aspects of that interaction that would lead, unfortunately, and potentially, to him invoking question by question in front of the jury."
Chauvin is now on trial for second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter relating to the death of Floyd.
Chauvin is likely looking at “serving about 12 1/2 years whether he is convicted of second or third-degree murder" because he has no criminal history, The Associated Press reported.