Judge: 'Aggravating Factors' Proven in Chauvin Trial

Minnesota judge finds aggravating factors in George Floyd murder

Chauvin Faces Tougher Sentence After Judge Finds Aggravating Circumstances in Floyd's Death

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill, who presided over Chauvin's high-profile trial, ruled that several "aggravating" factors would allow him to depart from Minnesota state sentencing guidelines.

A jury convicted Chauvin, 45, of second and third degree murder and manslaughter on 20 April after hearing three weeks of testimony in a highly publicized trial.

Derek Chauvin, a 17-year veteran of the Minneapolis police department, is to be sentenced on June 25 for Floyd's May 25, 2020 killing.

As a first-time offender, Chauvin had potentially faced 12 and a half years in prison on that count under state sentencing guidelines.

The judge said Floyd was treated by Chauvin with "particular cruelty".

In late April, Derek Chauvin - a former Minnesota policeman - was found guilty of killing George Floyd in May past year. Prosecutors sought an upward departure from that duration, arguing that there were multiple aggravating factors in the case. They also said Chauvin abused his position of authority as a police officer, committed his crime as part of a group of three or more people, and that he pinned Floyd down in the presence of children - including a 9-year-old girl who testified at trial that watching the restraint made her "sad and kind of mad".

But Cahill said one of the other officers twice checked Floyd's pulse and told Chauvin he detected none, while another officer suggested rolling Floyd to his side and said he was passing out.

Eric Nelson, Chauvin's attorney, did not respond to a request for comment.

The ruling by Judge Peter Cahill stated that the police officer abused his authority by not rendering aid and preventing bystanders from assistance, while also treating the detainee with "particular cruelty".

Even though he was found guilty of three counts, under Minnesota statutes he will only be sentenced on the most serious count - second-degree murder, said Mark Osler, a former federal prosecutor and a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minnesota.

Chauvin was captured on video kneeling on the neck of 46-year-old Floyd for more than nine minutes until he passed out and died. A few days later, federal officials announced a grand jury indicted Chauvin and three other former officers who were involved with Floyd's arrest with violating Floyd's right to be free from unreasonable seizure and excessive force.

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