Derek Chauvin asks to have George Floyd murder charges dismissed

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Sunday, August 30, 2020
Derek Chauvin asks to have George Floyd murder charges dismissed
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Derek Chauvin asked a judge to have the charges against him dismissed.

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- One of the former police officers charged in George Floyd's death asked a judge to have the charges against him dismissed.

The attorneys for Derek Chauvin, the man who was captured on video pressing his knee against Floyd's neck, argued in court Friday that there's no sufficient evidence against him.

Meanwhile, prosecutors in the case say they intend to seek stiff sentences if he and three of his fellow former officers, who are also facing charges, are convicted, saying in court documents filed Friday that Floyd was vulnerable as he was handcuffed with his chest pressed against the ground and he was treated with particular cruelty.

Attorney General Keith Ellison's office also noted that the former officers were in a position of authority at the time and "inflicted gratuitous pain on Mr. Floyd" as witnesses, including multiple children, watched.

Floyd, a Black man, died May 25 after Derek Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd's neck for nearly eight minutes as Floyd said he couldn't breathe and became motionless. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter.

Three other officers, J. Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao, are charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter. All four were fired.

Under the state's sentencing guidelines, a conviction on second-degree unintentional murder and third-degree murder both carry presumptive sentences of 12.5 years. But a judge can order a sentence ranging up to 15 years without departing from the guidelines. For second-degree manslaughter, the guidelines call for four years in prison, or a discretionary range up to 4.75 years.

But prosecutors said Friday that they will ask for an "upward departure" from the sentencing guidelines for all four men - meaning they intend to seek even higher penalties. The second-degree murder charge carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison, while third-degree murder carries a maximum of up to 25 years and manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.

The documents don't indicate how much prison time prosecutors will request if the men are convicted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.