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A Loyola University professor and doctor testifying in the trial of Derek Chauvin said Thursday morning that George Floyd died "from a low level of oxygen" that damaged his brain and heart.
Dr. Martin Tobin told prosecutors from the witness stand that Floyd's low oxygen levels were the result of protracted shallow breathing, which itself was caused by his being handcuffed in a prone position with body weight being applied to his back and neck.
"He is virtually on (Floyd's) neck for the vast majority of time," Tobin said of Chauvin.
Tobin said he has testified in court before, primarily in malpractice cases. The state of Minnesota reached out to him but is not paying for his appearance in Chauvin's trial, he said, and he believes he has "some knowledge that would be helpful to explain how Mr. Floyd died."
He has reviewed materials related to the circumstances of Floyd's death.
Medical experts are expected to testify Thursday, April 8, in the trial of Derek Chauvin. State prosecutors have signaled that they will today call Dr. Andrew Baker, of the medical examiner for Hennepin County, who performed George Floyd's autopsy, as a witness.
Dr. Martin Tobin was first to take the stand Thursday. The Loyola University Medical Center of Maywood, Ill., professor is an expert on critical care and pulmonary medicine, the latter of which relates to the lungs.
In this still image from a web broadcast, Dr. Martin Tobin of the Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill., testifies Thursday, April 8 in the trial of Derek Chauvin. (Forum News Service.)
Court is scheduled to resume this morning at 9:15 a.m., a day after jurors in the trial of Derek Chauvin heard Wednesday from forensic scientists who took part in the investigation of the case.
Pills recovered from the scene of George Floyd's arrest, they testified, tested positive for methamphetamine and fentanyl, both of which were found in Floyd's system after an autopsy. Chauvin's defense attorney, Eric Nelson, has sought to emphasize the role that drugs played in Floyd's death over that of his client.
In this image from video, Sgt. Jody Stiger of the Los Angeles Police Department answers questions Wednesday, April 7, 2021, during the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. (Pool via REUTERS)
State prosecutors, meanwhile, collected testimony Wednesday, April 7 that bolstered their claims of Chauvin's use of force being excessive. Police Sgt. Jody Stiger, a Los Angeles Police Department official who testified as an expert in the case that day, said the ex-officer's actions amounted to deadly and excessive force given that Floyd offered no resistance after being laid prone upon the ground in handcuffs the night of May 25, 2020.