Prosecutors Seek 30 Years for Derek Chauvin in George Floyd Murder

Defense asks for reduced sentence or probation, while laying out arguments for a retrial of ex-Minneapolis police officer

Defense attorney Eric Nelson and former officer Derek Chauvin on the day of the verdict in April.

Photo: Court TV/Press Pool

Prosecutors on Wednesday said they are seeking a 30-year sentence for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, convicted in April of the murder of George Floyd, while his defense attorney asked for less than the 15-year maximum in state sentencing guidelines or probation.

香蕉视频苹果下载Defense Attorney Eric Nelson also made his most extensive argument yet that Mr. Chauvin should be granted a retrial because of what he called prosecutorial and juror misconduct and errors by the judge, particularly in not granting a change of venue.

Mr. Chauvin is expected to be sentenced June 25 after being found guilty香蕉视频苹果下载 in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck and back for more than nine minutes, as he lay handcuffed in a prone position.

Separately, Mr. Chauvin and three other former Minneapolis police officers were indicted by a federal grand jury香蕉视频苹果下载 in May on charges of violating Mr. Floyd’s constitutional rights.

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill last month found that the state had proved beyond a reasonable doubt香蕉视频苹果下载 that Mr. Chauvin had earned an aggravated sentence on grounds that he had abused his authority, had treated Mr. Floyd with particular cruelty, that children were present and that he had acted in concert with three other people.

The maximum sentence for second-degree murder is 40 years, but state sentencing guidelines recommend up to 15 years for a person with no criminal history.

香蕉视频苹果下载Mr. Nelson had previously argued against the application of each of those factors. In Wednesday’s filing, he added that Mr. Chauvin has a low risk of reoffending, had served as a police officer for 19 years and had community ties that would support him if released early or sentenced to time served and given probation. He didn’t specify how much of a reduction he sought from the guidelines.

“Mr. Chauvin did not intend to cause George Floyd’s death,” Mr. Nelson wrote. “He believed he was doing his job.”

Prosecutors countered by saying that in light of the aggravating factors the judge found in the case, Mr. Chauvin should be sentenced to twice the upper end of the recommended range for his offender status, or 30 years.

香蕉视频苹果下载“Such a sentence would properly account for the profound impact of Defendant’s conduct on the victim, the victim’s family, and the community,” prosecutors wrote.

In his 64-page filing seeking a new trial, Mr. Nelson argued that Judge Cahill should have granted a motion for a change of venue because of the extensive pretrial publicity in the case. He also said the jury should have been sequestered to avoid exposure to prejudicial news stories during the trial.

He questioned the impartiality of jurors, including an alternate who spoke with the news media after the verdict and the juror Brandon Mitchell, a Black basketball coach who Mr. Nelson said failed to reveal participation in a civil-rights march in Washington, D.C., featuring members of the Floyd family, while wearing a “get off our necks” T-shirt.

Mr. Mitchell has said he doesn’t remember owning the T-shirt and has denied that he misled prosecutors. Mr. Nelson is seeking a hearing before the judge to determine whether there was juror misconduct in the case.

Related Video

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd. Photo: Court TV/Press Pool

Write to Joe Barrett at joseph.barrett@wsj.com

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the June 3, 2021, print edition as 'Prosecutors Seek 30 Years for Floyd Murder.'