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Derek Chauvin verdict: final conviction, charges and what will happen now?

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police office on trial for the death of George Floyd was found guilty on all three counts by the jury.

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police office on trial for the death of George Floyd was found guilty on all three counts by the jury.
Stephen MaturenAFP

In the second day of deliberation on Tuesday the 12 jurors finally came to a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial into the killing of George Floyd. After deliberating for around 10 hours over two days the jurors who had been sequestered found Chauvin guilty.

George Floyd, who was unarmed, was detained by Chauvin face down and handcuffed on the payment in front of a convenience store at the corner of 38th St. and Chicago Ave. in Minneapolis 25 May, 2020. Chauvin held his knee to Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds until the life went out of the man in his custody.

What was Derek Chauvin convicted of?

Chauvin is convicted of two counts of murder, second-degree unintentional murder and third-degree murder, and a third count of second-degree manslaughter. Prosecutors were not required to prove that how Chauvin had restrained Floyd was the sole cause of death but that his conduct was a “substantial causal factor.”

The jurors, in convicting Chauvin, considered the level of force he used to restrain Floyd to be unreasonable even in hindsight to an objective officer in Chauvin’s position. A witness for the prosecution Seth Stoughton testified “No reasonable officer would have believed that that was an appropriate, acceptable or reasonable use of force.”

How many years in prison could Derek Chauvin get?

Chauvin has no criminal history so he wouldn’t necessarily receive the maximum sentence for each of the guilty counts against him. Second-degree murder could be as high as 40 years in prison, while the maximum for third-degree murder is 25 years, but guidelines in his case call for 12.5 years each. Chauvin would most likely be sentenced to four years for second-degree manslaughter, but it carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.

The state could cite aggravated factors though to ask for a stiffer sentence. In court filings the state pointed out that the treatment of Floyd was particularly cruel and that the crime happened in the presence of children. As well that as a police officer Chauvin “abused his position of authority.”

When will Derek Chauvin be sentenced?

Derek Chauvin had been out on bail since October awaiting trial but Judge Peter Cahill revoked bail, typical after a guilty verdict is reached. He will now remain in custody until Cahill passes sentence for all three counts. Judge Cahill is set to pass sentence on Chauvin in eight weeks.

Chauvin waived his right to have the jury rule on the aggravating factors at the end of closing arguments on Monday. So it will be up to Judge Cahill to consider whether they apply or not.