Derek Chauvin is facing an additional charge in the killing of George Floyd after the judge presiding over the high-profile trial reinstated the third-degree murder charge against him.
Via NY Daily News:
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill, who had dismissed that count last fall, acknowledged he previously disagreed with the charge but accepts a recent precedent-setting ruling by the Minnesota Court of Appeals regarding such charges.
The move came a day after the state Supreme Court refused to hear Chauvin’s request to review an appellate court ruling that ordered Cahill to reconsider his October decision, saying the district judge improperly denied prosecutors’ request to reinstate the charge.
Cahill had previously argued that a third-degree murder charge only applies when a defendant’s actions are “not specifically directed” at a particular person and puts other people at risk — which was not the case when Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes as the handcuffed Black man repeatedly begged for his life.
But in a separate case involving another Minneapolis officer charged with murder, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled last month that third-degree murder could apply when deadly force is directed at only a single person. That case involves Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, who was convicted in the 2017 shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
Derek Chauvin is already facing charges of second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter.
This third-degree charge gives jurors even more tools to convict him.
Jury selection for the trial began on Tuesday (March 10) and the trial is expected to start on March 29.