A federal judge said Wednesday he had accepted a plea deal in the civil rights case against former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin and will sentence him to 20 to 25 years in prison.
Chauvin pleaded guilty on December 15 to violating George Floyd’s civil rights when he knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, until he died, on May 25, 2020, as CrimeOnline previously reported. But US District Judge Paul Magnuson initially declined to accept the plea agreement until a presentence investigation was complete.
On Wednesday, Magnuson issued a one-page ruling saying the report had been issued and that he accepted the deal worked out between federal prosecutors and Chauvin’s defense attorneys, according to The Associated Press. The judge has not yet set a date for sentencing.
Chauvin is serving a 22 1/2 year sentence after he was convicted of murder in state court last year, although he is appealing the conviction. The sentences would be concurrent.
The former police officer waived his right to appeal the federal conviction if Magnuson accepted the deal.
Magnuson is also overseeing the civil rights cases against ex-officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Keung, who were convicted on similar federal charges in February. The presentence investigations for those three are still under way. Their state trial, for aiding and abetting Chauvin in Floyd’s murder, is set to begin next month.
The three rejected plea agreements on the state charges last month, prosecutors said. Earl Gray, Lane’s attorney, said it was difficult to negotiate any kind of plea agreement while waiting to learn about their federal sentences, the AP said.
Gray is also pushing for a change of venue and a delay to the state trial. He wrote in a motion that it as “abundantly clear” from prospective juror questionnaire that Hennepin County, where Minneapolis is located, cannot seat an impartial jury because of a widespread “public hatred” of the defendants.
“It is clear that the vast majority of the Hennepin County community has a deep and bitter prejudice against police officer defendants and this case,” Gray wrote.
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[Featured image: Derek Chauvin/police handout and George Floyd/Facebook]