Pills Gathered From George Floyd Scene Contained Traces Of Methamphetamine, Fentanyl
The latter half of witness testimony in the eighth day of trial of former officer Derek Chauvin focused on the physical evidence gathered at the scene where George Floyd was arrested and held under Chauvin's knee for more than nine minutes.
Three forensic specialists fielded questions from prosecutors and Chauvin's defense lawyer about a handful of pills and pill fragments that were recovered from the Mercedes that Floyd was in, as well as squad car 320, from which the Black man was dragged to the ground by Chauvin and three other Minneapolis police officers.
Breahna Giles, a chemist with the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, testified that she was asked by investigators to test some of the recovered pills, which she described as white and round with some markings.
Two of the pills that had what looked to be pharmaceutical markings on one side, contained oxycodone and acetaminophen, Giles told the court.
"Do you know whether sometimes homemade pills are given those same markings to make them look legitimate?" prosecutors asked.
"Yes," Giles responded.
Another set of pill fragments tested by Giles contained traces of methamphetamine, she testified, adding that tests for fentanyl or any other controlled substance were inconclusive.
However, the defense lawyer returned to the question during cross examination, asking Giles, "The tablets contained methamphetamine and fentanyl?"
Again, she said that they had tested positive for methamphetamine but not for fentanyl.
The question of fentanyl is considered pertinent because the defense will argue that Chauvin's knee on Floyd's neck may not have killed him, but instead drugs or other factors could have been involved.
The final witness of the day, Susan Neigh, told jurors that she performed tests on three pills to determine how much methamphetamine or fentanyl each tablet contained.
Neigh said that one of the pills recovered "seemed to have a rougher surface consistency compared to the other two that were smoother."
The analysis showed that all of the pills contained a concentration of fentanyl less than 1%. The methamphetamine purity of the tablets ranged from 1.9% to 2.9%.
Prosecutors then asked about the levels of methamphetamine, and how that compares to street or recreational versions of the drug.
In her experience, she said, "That is low."
"A majority of the time I see 90 to 100% of methamphetamine."
Another BCA forensic scientist, McKenzie Anderson, told the court that Floyd's blood was found in the back of squad car 320.
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