Minnesota Executive Department through AP
A Minnesota judge found aggravating the murder of Derek Chauvin over George Floyd, a finding that dramatically increased the likelihood of a longer sentence.
Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, was found guilty of manslaughter, third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd in May 2020.
Judge Peter Cahill said in an order issued Wednesday that there were four aggravating factors in the case: Chauvin had abused his position of trust and authority as a police officer, treated Floyd with “extreme cruelty”, and committed the crime as part of at least three other people. and that the children were present at the time of the commission of the crime.
During the trial, a 9-year-old girl who witnessed the incident testified that seeing him made her feel “sad and somehow crazy.”
Chauvin was found guilty of all charges against him, but in Minnesota, a man convicted of multiple crimes in one incident is usually convicted of only the most serious charges. In this case, it is a second-degree murder.
The maximum sentence for this charge is 40 years, but state sentencing guidelines recommend 12.5 years in prison for a second-degree manslaughter for a person without a criminal record. Prosecutors sought to deviate upwards from this duration, arguing that there were a number of aggravating factors in the case.
Cahill agreed with prosecutors, in addition to arguing that Floyd was particularly vulnerable. “Restricting George Floyd by lying down with the weight of three police officers on him for a long time did not create a vulnerability that is used to cause death; it was the actual mechanism that caused death,” Cahill wrote.
Chauvin’s conviction is scheduled for the end of June. Three other former Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd’s death – J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tu Tao will be tried together in a trial that is set to begin on August 23.