Prosecutors filed paperwork Friday asking that Derek Chauvin be given a more severe prison sentence in the killing of George Floyd, arguing that the former Minneapolisinflicted torturous deadly methods as Floyd pleaded for his life.
Chauvin, who is scheduled to be sentenced in June for second-degree, abused his power as a police officer in full view of the public while Floyd was handcuffed and crying out for his mother, prosecutors said in a legal brief filed in Minnesota’s Hennepin County District Court.
“Mr. Floyd was treated with particular cruelty . . . Defendant continued to maintain his position atop Mr. Floyd even as Mr. Floyd cried out that he was in pain, even as Mr. Floyd exclaimed 27 times that he could not breathe, and even as Mr. Floyd said that Defendant’s actions were killing him,” prosecutors wrote. They added thatcried out for his mother, stopped speaking, and lost consciousness.
Prosecutors wrote that Chauvin’s actions “inflicted gratuitous pain” and psychological distress not just on Floyd but the civilian bystanders, who they argued would be haunted by the memory of what they saw. Four of the people in the crowd watching Floyd die were minors, the court filing said.
“Defendant thus did not just inflict physical pain. He caused Mr. Floyd psychological distress during theof his life, leaving Mr. Floyd helpless as he squeezed the last vestiges of life out of Mr. Floyd’s body,” prosecutors wrote. Defense attorney Eric Nelson is opposing a tougher sentence, that those aggravating factors, among others, existed when Chauvin arrested Floyd on May 25.
Chauvin, who is white, was, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter for pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for 91/2 minutes as the Black man said he couldn’t breathe and went motionless.
Even though he wasof three counts, under Minnesota statutes, he’ll only be sentenced on the most serious one – second-degree murder. While that count carries a maximum sentence of 40 years, he won’t get that much. for Chauvin.
The first juror intrial to speak publicly says he didn’t feel pressure to reach a guilty verdict.
Under Minnesota sentencing guidelines, the presumptive sentence for second-degree unintentional murder for someone with no criminal record, like Chauvin, would be 121/2 years. Judges can sentence someone to as little as ten years and eight months or as much as 15 years and still be within the advisory guideline range.
To go above that, Judge Peter Cahill would have to find that there were “aggravating factors,” Even if those are found,more than 30 years. Prosecutors said Friday that an upward departure from the sentencing guidelines is warranted because of multiple aggravating factors in the case.
Contributing: Associated Press