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Trial delayed for three ex-cops charged with aiding Derek Chauvin in George Floyd’s death

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The state trial of three fired officers charged with aiding and abetting Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd has been postponed from August of this year until March of 2022, reports CBS station WCCO. Chauvin, who pinned Floyd to the ground with a knee on his neck for more than nine minutes during a May 2020 arrest in Minneapolis, was convicted of murder and manslaughter last month. 

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L to R: Former Minneapolis police officers Tou Thao, Derek Chauvin, J Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane are seen in arrest photos.

Hennepin County Jail

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Judge Peter Cahill delayed the trial at a motions hearing Thursday for Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao. The three defendants and Chauvin are all also facing federal civil rights charges after they were indicted by a federal grand jury this month, charging them with depriving Floyd of his Constitutional rights while acting in their capacity as police officers. 

Chauvin is expected to be sentenced in the state case June 25. Chauvin will only be sentenced on the top count, second-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. For someone with no criminal history such as Chauvin, Minnesota sentencing guidelines suggest a range of just over 10 and a half years to 15 years in prison. However, a ruling by a judge this week found “aggravating factors” exist that allow for him to hand down a longer sentence than the guidelines suggest.

In the state case, Lane, Kueng and Thao face the same possible sentence as Chauvin if convicted, though it’s not clear whether prosecutors would seek to enhance their sentence because of “aggravating factors.” In the federal case, all face a range of possible sentences up to life in prison or the death penalty.

Cahill said “it makes more sense” for the federal trial to go forward before before the three officers face state trial on March 7, 2022, according to a media pool report, because the penalties in the federal case are “much greater.” 

Cameras were not allowed in the pre-trial hearing Thursday and the defendants did not appear in court.

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