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US Judge Reinstates Third-Degree Murder Charge Against Derek Chauvin

Stewart Perrie

Published 

US Judge Reinstates Third-Degree Murder Charge Against Derek Chauvin

A US judge has reinstated a third-degree murder charge against Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd.

The former police officer was seen kneeling on Floyd's neck last year for more than eight minutes, sparking outrage around the world.

Chauvin is already facing second-degree murder and manslaughter charges for the incident last year.

The defendant's legal team has been trying to block the third-degree murder charge, and previously found success when a court found it wasn't warranted.

But in a new twist to the case, an appellate court ruling in a separate case has established new grounds for prosecutors to pursue the charge, according to the Associated Press.

The state's Court of Appeals recently saw a third-degree murder conviction be upheld for another former Minneapolis police officer in the killing of Australian woman, Justine Damond.

As a result, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill has now reinstated the additional charge for Chauvin.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

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

If the former police officer is convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison.

The additional charge comes as the jury selection continues, with five people already being selected to preside over Chauvin's future. A lot of work is going into each potential juror's attitude towards police.

Former prosecutor, Susan Gaertner, explained to Sky News why selecting a jury for this trial is so difficult.

"You don't want jurors who are completely blank slates, because that would mean they're not in tune at all with the world. But what you want is jurors who can set aside opinions that have formed prior to walking into the courtroom and give both sides a fair hearing," she said.

The first juror grew up in a predominantly white area of Minnesota and has a 'favourable' opinion of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Another juror, who is a chemist, described himself as 'logical' and said he had not seen the video of George Floyd's death. A third juror has only seen the video once and is eager to hear all the evidence.

Three other police officers, Thomas Lane, J Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, were there when Floyd was arrested and have been fired over he man's death.

They will face trial in August on aiding and abetting charges.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, George Floyd

Stewart Perrie
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