Desmond Mills Jr., one of the five former Memphis police officers charged in the brutal beating death of Tyre Nichols, pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges.
Mills initially pleaded not guilty in September after being indicted on federal civil rights, conspiracy, and obstruction offenses.
During a change of plea hearing on Thursday, Desmond Mills Jr. pleaded guilty to excessive force and failing to intervene, as well as conspiring to cover up his use of unlawful force, according to the Department of Justice.
In a press release, the DOJ said, Mills admitted to “repeatedly and unjustifiably striking Tyre Nichols with a baton and to failing to intervene in other officers’ use of force against Tyre.”
Based on the terms of his plea agreement, the government plans to recommend a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Justin Smith, and Emmitt Martin III were indicted on charges relating to the deprivation of rights under color of law, including excessive force and failure to intervene as well as deliberate indifference, and conspiracy to witness-tamper, according to court records.
They all have pleaded not guilty.
Tyre Nichols, 29, died on January 10, 2023, three days after being tased and brutally beaten to death by police officers during a traffic stop.
I pray justice is served to the fullest extent of the law.
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