• Tue. Oct 26th, 2021

Judge’s ruling allows longer sentence for Derek Chauvin for murder of George Floyd

Byeditorial

May 13, 2021

(CNN) – The judge who presided over Derek Chauvin’s murder trial ruled Wednesday that there were four aggravating factors in George Floyd’s murder, a decision that allows the judge to give Chauvin a longer prison sentence.

Chauvin, a 45-year-old former Minneapolis police officer, was convicted last month of two counts of unintentional manslaughter and one of accidental manslaughter for kneeling on Floyd’s neck and back, handcuffed and lying in the street, for 9 minutes and 29 seconds.

The ex-police officer could be sentenced to 40 years in prison for unintentional homicide in the commission of a felony, 25 years for unintentional homicide with contempt for life and 10 years for accidental homicide. With no criminal record, Minnesota regulations recommend about 12 and a half years in prison for each count of unintentional manslaughter and about four years for accidental manslaughter.

In this case, state prosecutors asked for a harsher sentence than recommended, citing five aggravating factors that they say apply. Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson, said those factors did not apply.

Judge Peter Cahill ruled this Wednesday that four of the five factors were proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

I consider that (1) Chauvin abused a position of trust and authority, and (two) he treated Floyd with particular cruelty.

‘George Floyd’s slow death that occurred for approximately six minutes from his positional asphyxia was particularly cruel in the sense that Mr. Floyd was pleading for his life and was obviously terrified to learn that he was likely to die, while the accused he remained objectively indifferent to Mr. Floyd’s pleas, ”wrote Cahill.

Cahill also ruled that (3) minors were present during the crime, and (4) Chauvin committed the crime in a group with the active participation of at least three other people.

Regarding the fourth point, Judge Cahill wrote that three former agents: Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and Alexander Kueng, They were actively involved in the incident, but did not reach any conclusions about their intention or knowledge. Each of them pleaded not guilty to the charges of complicity.

However, Cahill dismissed the aggravation that Floyd was “particularly vulnerable”, noting that Floyd had initially resisted arrest. It also ruled that holding Floyd prone did not create a vulnerability, but was the actual mechanism of his death.

Chauvin waived his right to have aggravating factors decided by the jury, opting for Judge Cahill to do so. His sentence is set for June 25, and he is currently being held at the Minnesota-Oak Park Heights Correctional Facility.

The sentences for all three offenses are likely to be served at the same time, not consecutively. “Generally, when an offender is convicted of multiple current crimes … the sentences are presumed to be concurrent,” according to the provisions of the regulations.

Chauvin also faces other legal problems. A federal investigative jury charged the four ex-officers in connection with Floyd’s death, alleging they violated his constitutional rights, according to court documents filed in federal court in Minnesota.

Chauvin was also indicted for an incident in which he allegedly used unreasonable force on a 14-year-old Minneapolis boy in September 2017, the Justice Department said in a statement.

–Omar Jimenez and Aaron Cooper of CNN contributed to this report.

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