Prosecutors did not have to prove that Derek Chauvin was the sole cause of George Floyd’s death: the murder and manslaughter charges were found guilty of the white cop and how he is now behind bars for up to 75 years
- Chauvin was found guilty of second degree accidental murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter
- Chauvin faces a minimum sentence of 12.5 years and a maximum of 40 years if he serves a prison sentence for each charge at the same time
- If served consecutively, he faces between the ages of 29 and 75
- The jury reached its verdict on Tuesday afternoon after only 10 and a half hours of deliberation
Derek Chauvin has now been behind bars for up to 75 years after being found guilty of all charges in the death of George Floyd.
Chauvin was found guilty of second degree accidental murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter.
Chauvin faces a minimum sentence of 12.5 years and a maximum of 40 years if he serves a prison sentence for each charge at the same time. If served consecutively, he faces between the ages of 29 and 75.
The jury reached its verdict on Tuesday afternoon after only 10 and a half hours of deliberation.
When the verdict was read, Chauvin watched silently in the Hennepin County courtroom, where jurors listened for three weeks to testimony about the day Floyd died under the weight of the 46-year-old police officer’s knee during an arrest on May 25, 2020.
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Derek Chauvin is portrayed in court on Tuesday when the jury found him guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
Derek Chauvin is seen above being handcuffed after the guilty verdicts were reached Tuesday
Second degree murder – GUILTY
Possible punishment: 12.5 to 40 years
The second-degree murder charge required prosecutors to prove that Chauvin caused Floyd’s death while he was committing or attempting to commit a crime – in this case, third-degree assault.
Prosecutors had to convince the jury that Chauvin was attacking or attempting to assault Floyd and had sustained substantial bodily harm in the process. Prosecutors did not have to prove that Chauvin was the sole cause of Floyd’s death – just that his behavior was a “substantial causal factor.”
Second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 40 years, but because Chauvin has no previous convictions, guidelines recommend that he serve 12.5 years.
Second degree manslaughter – GUILTY
Possible penalty: four to ten years
The manslaughter charge has a lower bar and requires evidence that Chauvin caused Floyd’s death through negligence that created an unreasonable risk, and knowingly took the opportunity to cause serious injury or death.
Second-degree manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison – guidelines for convictions for someone without a criminal record for no more than four years behind bars.
Third degree murder – GUILTY
Possible penalty: 12.5 to 25 years
Third degree murder required a lower standard of proof than second degree. To get a conviction, the prosecutors only had to prove that Floyd’s death was caused by an act that was clearly dangerous, but not necessarily a felony.
Third-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 25 years, but since Chauvin has no criminal history, he would likely serve about 12.5.
Chauvin, 45, was accused of murdering Floyd by pressing his knee into the 46-year-old black man’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds while lying face down in handcuffs after being held for using an alleged counterfeit $ 20 bill to buy cigarettes
Where will Derek Chauvin serve his sentence?
It remains unclear where Derek Chauvin will serve his sentence – and officials may keep the location secret over security concerns.
Because he has been convicted at the state level, he will be incarcerated in one of the following state prisons:
- MCF – Faribault
- MCF – Lino Lakes
- MCF – Oak Park Heights
- MCF – Red Wing
- MCF – Rush City
- MCF – St. Cloud
- MCF – Stillwater
- MCF – Togo
- MCF – Moose Lake
MCF – Oak Park Heights would be a likely choice for Chauvin because as the only maximum security level 5 prison with fewer than 500 inmates, it is considered one of the safest for high-risk offenders.
Chauvin’s sentence will rely heavily on a pre-sentencing investigation that takes into account his character and habits – matters not addressed in the trial.
Prior to the trial, the prosecution lobbied for eight of Chauvin’s previous arrests to be acknowledged in court, alleging he had used excessive force.
Judge Cahill found all but two inadmissible because the incidents were not sufficiently similar and because the prosecution was falsely trying to show that Chauvin was inclined to resort to unreasonable violence.
The moment he made his decision, Cahill said the state was simply trying to “portray Chauvin as a” thunder. “
Ultimately, the Prosecution decided not to make the arrests part of their main action, but they could be used in any attempt to get Chauvin to pass a higher sentence than allowed by the sentencing guidelines if convicted.
A second ground on which the Prosecution could also ask for this applies to “crimes committed in relation to children.” The state called nine-year-old Judeah as a witness, possibly with this in mind.
Under the Minnesota sentencing guidelines, the likely sentence for a person like Chauvin with no criminal history is the same for murder in the third and accidental murder in the second; 12 and a half years. But the judge has the freedom to sentence anywhere from ten years to eight months to fifteen years.
If the judge finds aggravating factors present and deviates from the guidelines, the maximum sentence is 40 years for second-degree murder, 25 years for third-degree murder, and 10 years for second-degree manslaughter.