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George Floyd and Derek Chauvin are each limited to one family members in the courtroom due to COVID-19 protocols.
Judges were quick to question the strength of defense attorney Eric Nelson's arguments that his client should not face a third charge.
The count offers a middle ground for jurors who may want to compromise in their verdict, attorneys said.
A virtual hearing is scheduled for March 1, a week before Derek Chauvin is scheduled to stand trial.
The trial judge misinterpreted case law and should have applied the Court of
Kueng's attorney accused prosecutors of mishandling how they shared evidence and of leaking information about plea negotiations.
The Court of Appeals has already told prosecutors once that it will not interfere with the trial judge's discretion.
Prosecutors did not establish a basis for the court's involvement, said a Friday ruling.
Derek Chauvin is scheduled to stand trial March 8.
Attorney for accused ex-officer J. Alexander Kueng says they're irrelevant.