As the murder case between Derek Michael Chauvin and other police officers unfolds in court, a judge ruled that on Wednesday that Chauvin his likely to get a longer jail term.
The judge ruled that there were four aggravating factors in the killing of George Floyd which could lenghthen Chauvin’s years imprisonment.
Chauvin along with 3 other police men were convicted of murder. Chauvin 43, was convicted of two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter last month for kneeling on the neck of Floyd.
He is assumed to face up to 40 years in prison for second degree murder, up to 25 years for third degree murder and up to 10 years for manslaughter. Because he has no criminal records, Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines recommend that he spends about 12 and a half year in prison for each murder charge and about four years for the manslaughter charged.
In his case, state prosecutors asked for a tougher sentence than the recommendations provide, citing five aggravating factors they said applied.
His defense attorney, Eric Nelson, insisted that those factors do not apply to his case.
Judge Peter Cahili rules Wednesday that 4 of the 5 factors were oven beyond a reasonable doubt. He found that Chauvin:
1) abused a position of trust and authority
2) treated Floyd with particular cruelty.
His death took over six minutes which was cruel as Mr Floyd was begging for his life repeatedly knowing he was likely to die but, Chauvin seemed unfazed and indifferent to his pleas.
“The slow death of George Floyd occuring over approximately six minutes of his positional asphyxia was particularly cruel in that Mr Floyd was begging fr his life and obviously terrified by the knowledge that he was likely to die but during which the defendant objectively remained indifferent to Mr. Floyd pleas”.
3) children were present during the offense and
4) Chauvin committed the crime as a group with the active participation of at least three other people.
Judge Cahili wrote that the three former police officers who were with him, Tou Thou, Thomas Lane, and Alexander Kueng were actively involved in the incident though he didnot know what their intent was. The three officers have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
However, Cahili rejected the aggravating factors that Floyd was “particularly vulnerable”, pointing out that Floyd had resisted arrest. He also rules that restraining Floyd in the prone position did not create a vulnerability but was instead the actual mechanism of his death.
Chauvin relinquished his right for the jury to decide the aggravating factors, instead opting judge Cahili to do so. His sentencing is set for June 25, and he is currently held at the Minnesota Correctional Facility Oak Park Heights.
The sentences for all three crimes would likely be served at the same time. According to the Guidelines, “Generally when an offender is convicted of multiple current offenses.. concurrent sentencing is presumptive”.