Judge: 'Aggravating Factors' Proven in Chauvin Trial

Judge: 'Aggravating Factors' Proven in Chauvin Trial

The judge who oversaw Derek Chauvin's murder trial ruled Wednesday that there were four aggravating factors in the killing of George Floyd, a decision that allows the judge to give Chauvin a lengthier prison sentence.

Chauvin, who is white, was convicted in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for pressing his knee against Floyd's neck for 9 1/2 minutes as the Black man said he couldn't breathe and went motionless.

In his ruling, Judge Peter Cahill found that Chauvin abused his authority as a police officer when he restrained Floyd past year, and that he treated Floyd with particular cruelty. "The State therefore respectfully requests that the Court find the facts necessary to support the existence of these five aggravating factors, and that the Court impose an aggravated sentence on that basis", prosecutors said in the filing.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, seen here in an April 21 booking photo, may face a longer sentence after Judge Peter Cahill found aggravating factors in the case. He said prosecutors did not prove that Floyd was particularly vulnerable. He found that (1) Chauvin abused a position of trust and authority, and (2) he treated Floyd with particular cruelty.

Nelson also argued Floyd was not treated with particular cruelty, saying that there is no evidence that the assault perpetrated by Chauvin involved gratuitous pain that's not usually associated with second-degree murder. He will be sentenced on the most serious offence of second-degree murder.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, a Democrat, and other prosecutors had presented Cahill in a recent motion with five factors that would trigger an aggravated sentence.

In late April, Derek Chauvin - a former Minnesota policeman - was found guilty of killing George Floyd in May past year.

Nelson opposed each supposed factor, arguing in a brief that the state "has failed to meet its burden of proving the existence of the alleged aggravating factors beyond a reasonable doubt". Chauvin notoriously knelt on Floyd's neck for nearly 10 minutes before the captive lost consciousness.

Three other former officers who were at the scene have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's death and are set to go on trial on August 23.

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