White ex-officer Derek Chauvin, 45, was convicted in April of murdering African American George Floyd previous year in a case that prompted a national reckoning on racial injustice and police brutality.
Between the lines: Earlier this week, Cahill determined the participation of the three officers' in Floyd's arrest to be an aggravating factor in weighing whether to side with state prosecutors who are seeking a more severe sentence against Chauvin.
Cahill found Chauvin abused his authority as a police officer when he restrained Floyd during the arrest that led to his death previous year, and also found that Chauvin treated Floyd with "particular cruelty".
While Cahill accepted most of the prosecution's arguments that aggravating circumstances were present, he rejected one of them, finding that lawyers for the state had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Floyd was "particularly vulnerable".
It was unknown when Cahill would rule on that motion.
Chauvin was convicted on April 20 of murder and manslaughter for his role in Floyd's death, which sparked protests against racial injustice and police brutality around the world. He faces a combined maximum 75 years in prison if the sentences run consecutively. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 25. However, prosecutors asked for what is called "upward departure", and argued Chauvin abused his authority as an officer and should receive a longer sentence that what would normally be recommended.
With Tuesday's ruling, Cahill has given himself permission to sentence Chauvin above the guideline range, though he doesn't have to, said Mark Osler, professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. He said prosecutors did not prove that Floyd was particularly vulnerable, noting that even though he was handcuffed, he was able to struggle with officers who were trying to put him in a squad vehicle. Cahill said these officers let Chauvin know that asphyxia was actually happening - yet Chauvin held his position.
Floyd died in May of 2020 after former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for over nine minutes. A few of the witnesses who testified during the trial were under 18 at the time of Floyd's death.