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Judge allows third degree murder charge to be added in Chauvin case
by Steve Karnowski, Amy Forliti

A judge granted prosecutors’ request to add a third-degree murder charge against the former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death.

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill reinstated the charge after the former officer, Derek Chauvin, failed to get appellate courts to block it. Cahill had earlier rejected the charge as not warranted by the circumstances of Floyd’s death, but an appellate court ruling in an unrelated case established new grounds for it.

Chauvin already faced second-degree murder and manslaughter charges. Legal experts say the additional charge helps prosecutors by giving jurors one more option to convict Chauvin of murder.

The dispute over the third-degree murder charge revolved around the conviction of another former Minneapolis police officer in the unrelated killing of an Australian woman. The appeals court recently affirmed Mohamed Noor’s third-degree murder conviction in the 2017 shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, and the state used that affirmation to argue that it established new justification for the charge in Chauvin’s case.

Cahill agreed that the precedent has now been established.

“I feel bound by that and I feel it would be an abuse of discretion not to grant the motion,” he said.

Floyd was declared dead on May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against the Black man’s neck for about nine minutes. Floyd’s death sparked sometimes violent protests in Minneapolis and beyond, leading to a nationwide reckoning on race.

Read more at Huffpost.com

 





 
 

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