MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - George Floyd's girlfriend took the stand Thursday morning on the fourth day of witness testimony in the Derek Chauvin trial, detailing his struggle with opioid addiction.
Courteney Batya Ross, wearing a necklace bearing Floyd's name, gave the jury their first insight into Floyd's life before his death in May 2020.
The two met in 2017 when Floyd comforted her at Salvation Army Harbor Lights, where he worked as a security guard. Ross became emotional recounting their first meeting, calling it "one of her favorite stories to tell."
During their three-year relationship, Ross said they both used opioids, largely oxycodone pills, going through periods of using and sobriety.
"It’s a classic story of how many people get addicted to opioids. We both suffer from chronic pain," said Ross. "Mine was in my neck and his was in his back. We both had prescriptions, but after prescriptions were filled, we got addicted."
She told the court the two of them would take "other people’s prescriptions to make sure they were safe." However, other times they would buy the drugs off the street.
In March 2020, Ross said Floyd was hospitalized for an overdose.
Defense attorney Eric Nelson had Ross review a transcript of her interview with the FBI during which she "speculated" Floyd had gotten pills from Shawanda Hill. Hill was one of the people with Floyd at Cup Foods before he passed away.
In the weeks before Floyd's death, Ross said she believed he was using again.
"I noticed a change in his behavior, yes," said Ross.
A week before he died, Ross said Floyd bought pills from Morries Hall. Ross testifed she did not see the interaction take place because she stayed in the car, but believed Floyd had bought pills from Hall.
On May 25, Floyd was also with Hall at Cup Foods. Hall however does not plan on testifying during the trial. In a filing submitted Wednesday, Hall’s attorney notified the court that their client intended to plead the Fifth Amendment, which gives anyone the right to remain silent and not incriminate themselves.
Gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Derek Chauvin trial is being streamed on fox9.com/live.