Judge rules man who stabbed ex-cop Derek Chauvin in prison can represent self at trial

The inmate who is charged with stabbing former Minneapolis police office Derek Cahuvin in an Arizona prison is allowed to represent himself in court, a judge ruled.

John Turscak, the federal inmate who attacked Chauvin, stabbed him 22 times with a makeshift knife at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Tucson last November.

Chauvin killed George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020, sparking nationwide Black Lives Matter protests.

The ruling this week, reported first by NBC News, agreed to Turscak’s request to waive his right to legal representation. Judge Lynnette Kimmins said he must still be granted an advisory or standby counsel and reasonable access to law books, witnesses and other tools so he can prepare his defense.

FCI is a medium-security prison that has reportedly faced problems with security and staffing. Chauvin was sent to FCI Tucson in August 2022 to serve him simultaneous sentences for violating Floyd’s civil right and for second-degree murder.

The Supreme Court has rejected Chauvin’s appeal of his murder conviction.

Turscak said he was thinking about hurting Chauvin for about a month because of how high-profile of an inmate he was. He also reportedly chose the day after Thanksgiving, known as “Black Friday” to stab Chauvin because of the Black Lives Matter movement, NBC News reported.

He was charged with attempted murder, assault with intent to commit murder, assault with a dangerous weapon and assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

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