Chauvin Faces Tougher Sentence After Judge Finds Aggravating Circumstances in Floyd's Death


Cahill said Chauvin and two other officers held Floyd handcuffed, in a prone position on the street for an "inordinate amount of time" and that Chauvin knew the restraint was risky.

A jury convicted Chauvin, 45, of second and third degree murder and manslaughter on 20 April after hearing three weeks of testimony in a highly publicized trial.

"The prolonged use of this technique was particularly egregious in that George Floyd made it clear he was unable to breathe and expressed the view that he was dying as a result of the officers' restraint", Cahill wrote. Prosecutors sought an upward departure from that duration, arguing that there were multiple aggravating factors in the case.

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

"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.

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A pre-sentence investigation report will also be conducted.

While Cahill accepted most of the prosecutors' arguments that aggravating circumstances were present, he rejected one of them, finding that they had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Floyd was "particularly vulnerable". Cahill said the factors he will consider when sentencing the former Minneapolis police officer include his abuse of authority, the fact that he "treated George Floyd with particular cruelty", the presence of children, and that Chauvin committed the crime with the "active participation" of at least three other people. Cahill said these officers let Chauvin know that asphyxia was actually happening - yet Chauvin held his position. He found that (1) Chauvin abused a position of trust and authority, and (2) he treated Floyd with particular cruelty.

Chauvin was captured on video kneeling on the neck of 46-year-old Floyd for more than nine minutes until he passed out and died.

The most serious charge that Chauvin was convicted of - second-degree murder - carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. Minnesota convicts serve two-thirds of their sentence in jail and the other one-third outside of jail. Three other former Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd's death - J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao - will be tried together in a trial set to begin August 23.