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Former MPD officers charged in Tyre Nichols death file motions to request separate trials

Attorneys representing three of the five former officers charged in Nichols' death requested the officers be tried in separate trials Friday.
Credit: WATN
Mugshots of 5 MPD officers charged with multiple felonies in the death of Tyre Nichols.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Three of the five former Memphis Police officers charged in the death of Tyre Nichols filed motions to be tried in separate trials Friday, although no decision was made on the matter. 

Former officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin, Justin Smith, and Desmond Mills, face multiple charges, including second degree murder in Nichols’ death. All five officers pleaded not guilty during their first court appearance on Feb. 17. 

Haley did not file the severance motion, which, if granted, would allow each officer to be tried separately, instead of the state's recommendation to try them together. 

The state has until Aug. 28 to respond to the motions. 

A decision on a trial date for the five officers is expected in their next scheduled court appearance on Sept. 15. 

On Jan. 7, 2023, Nichols, 29, was left unconscious, brutally beaten and unrecognizable after what was supposed to be a regular traffic stop, where he encountered several MPD officers serving on a specialized tactics unit called SCORPION Unit. He died three days later.

Nichols's encounter with the MPD officers serving on the SCORPION specialized tactics unit has law enforcement, Nichols' family, and protestors calling for full police reform.

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