Derek Chauvin sentencing: Former police officer faces prison time for the murder of George Floyd
Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson, argued that the former officer should instead receive probation and time served, or at least a sentence less than what the law guides.
“Mr. Chauvin asks the Court to look beyond its findings, to his background, his lack of criminal history, his amenability to probation, to the unusual facts of this case, and to his being a product of a ‘broken’ system,” Nelson wrote in a filing.
His attorney has also filed a motion for a new trial.
How the sentencing will go
The sentencing is set to take place at 1:30 p.m. CT at the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Judge Peter Cahill, who oversaw the trial, will likewise decide the sentence.
Members of Floyd’s family will be allowed to deliver victim impact statements, and Chauvin will have an opportunity to speak before he is sentenced.
Since his conviction, Chauvin has been held at Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights, outside of Minneapolis, and was put into a segregated housing unit for his own safety, a prison spokesperson said. The Minnesota Department of Corrections will decide on where Chauvin will serve his time after receiving Cahill’s sentencing order, spokeswoman Sarah Fitzgerald told CNN.
Legally, Chauvin could face up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder and up to 10 years for manslaughter. The second-degree murder charge said Chauvin assaulted Floyd with his knee, which unintentionally caused Floyd’s death. The third-degree murder charge said Chauvin acted with a “depraved mind,” and the manslaughter charge said his “culpable negligence” caused Floyd’s death.
Chauvin has no prior criminal record, so Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines recommend about 12 and a half years in prison for each murder charge and about four years for the manslaughter charge.
The sentences for the charges will likely be served at the same time, rather than consecutively, per sentencing guidelines. That means the sentence for second-degree murder will be of primary importance.
The findings allow the judge to sentence Chauvin beyond what the guidelines recommend.
Over about three weeks of testimony in court, Minnesota prosecutors repeatedly told jurors to “believe your eyes” and rely on the infamous video of Floyd.
“This case is exactly what you thought when you saw it first, when you saw that video. It is exactly that. You can believe your eyes,” prosecuting attorney Steve Schleicher said in closing arguments. “This wasn’t policing. This was murder.”
The defense called seven witnesses — but not Chauvin himself, as he invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify. Nelson argued that Chauvin’s use of force was reasonable, that he was distracted by hostile bystanders and that Floyd died of other causes.
Chauvin also was charged in a separate indictment related to an incident in which he allegedly used unreasonable force on a Minneapolis 14-year-old in September 2017, the Justice Department said in a statement. He is also expected to be arraigned in that case in September, according to court filings.
CNN’s Omar Jimenez and Brad Parks contributed to this report.