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Chauvin Facing 12 1/2 to 40 Years, Judge To Decide On Enhanced Sentencing

Minneapolis, MN – Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin faces anywhere from 12.5 to 40 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd depending on whether the judge approves an enhanced sentence for aggravating factors.

Chauvin was booked into a maximum security state prison on Wednesday afternoon where he will await sentencing for his conviction on all charges in the murder of George Floyd, CNN reported.

It is unusual for an inmate to be transferred to prison ahead of sentencing, but security concerns led Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office to make arrangements with the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) for Chauvin’s immediate incarceration at a state facility, DOC spokeswoman Sarah Fitzgerald said.

Chauvin is being housed separately from the general population of the prison, CNN reported.

“He is on ‘administrative segregation’ status for his safety,” Fitzgerald wrote an email. “Administrative segregation is used when someone’s presence in the general population is a safety concern.”

The prison – Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights – is located about 25 miles east of downtown Minneapolis in Stillwater, CNN reported.

Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill said after reading the verdict on Tuesday that Chauvin would be sentenced in about eight weeks, but did not set a date.

In Minnesota, a person who has been convicted of multiple crimes that occurred at the same time usually gets sentenced for only the most severe charge, according to NPR.

Chauvin’s most serious charge was second-degree murder (unintentional) while committing a felony.

Under state guidelines, given Chauvin’s lack of prior criminal history, he should be sentenced to 12.5 years in prison for second-degree murder, NPR reported.

The maximum sentence for second-degree unintentional murder is 40 years in prison, but NPR reported that the state’s largely tapered off at 24 years.

Prosecutors have called for harsher sentences for all of the officers charged in connection with the death of Floyd.

The state argued last fall that five aggravating factors warranted “upward sentencing” for all of the officers involved.

Prosecutors have said that Chauvin’s position of authority and trust, the fact that Floyd was particularly vulnerable and treated with particular cruelty, and the fact there was an audience that included children present when the incident occurred should all play into the judge’s decision whether to enhance the sentences, CNN reported.

Chauvin would likely serve a longer sentence if Cahill decided to apply aggravating factors.

Cahill will hear both sides’ arguments regarding “upward sentencing” in writing and then establish the range of Chauvin’s sentence in two weeks.

Six weeks later, Chauvin will be sentenced, NPR reported.

He will be eligible for parole after he has served two-thirds of his prison sentence if he has not had any disciplinary problems while incarcerated, according to Minnesota law.

The jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter on April 20 after less than 12 hours of deliberations.

Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill revoked his bail and remanded Chauvin to the custody of the court.

Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson, was expected to quickly file an appeal over a number of controversial issues that arose before and during trial.

The incident occurred officers had responded to a call about a counterfeit $20 that Floyd had allegedly used to make a purchase at a deli on May 25, 2020.

Store employees pointed out the suspect to police and they arrested him.

The complaint used to charge Chauvin said Floyd actively resisted arrest and then fought being put in the back of a police car once he had been handcuffed.

Viral cell phone video showed then-Officer Chauvin and three other officers holding Floyd on the ground.

The video showed Officer Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, during which time the suspect lost consciousness.

Chauvin remained on Floyd’s neck for almost three minutes after he was unresponsive.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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