What's next for Derek Chauvin?

Dylan Stableford
·Senior Writer
·3-min read

After being led away in handcuffs from the courtroom following his conviction in the May 2020 murder of George Floyd, former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was transported Tuesday to the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights in Stillwater, about 25 miles east of downtown Minneapolis.

He arrived at the facility shortly before 5 p.m. local time, according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections. His booking photo was released Wednesday morning.

Chauvin is being held apart from the general prison population for his own safety in what facility officials call "administrative segregation" — alone in a single cell.

He'll remain in a so-called restrictive unit until sentencing, which is in about eight weeks.

Sentencing

Chauvin was found guilty on Tuesday on all three counts: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

For a person with no prior criminal history like Chauvin, each murder charge carries a presumptive sentence of 12.5 years, while a manslaughter conviction has a presumptive sentence of four years, under Minnesota's sentencing guidelines.

But each count carries a different maximum sentence: 40 years for second-degree unintentional murder, 25 years for third-degree murder and 10 years for second-degree manslaughter.

Prosecutors have already said they will seek a sentence that goes above the guideline range, citing aggravating factors, including that Floyd was particularly vulnerable and that his death was witnessed by multiple children, including a 9-year-old girl.

The sentences would likely be served at the same time, not consecutively, per the guidelines.

Derek Chauvin's booking photo, left; Chauvin being led out of the courtroom in handcuffs, right. (Photos: Minnesota Department of Corrections, Pool via Reuters)
From left: Derek Chauvin's booking photo; Chauvin being led out of the courtroom in handcuffs. (Minnesota Department of Corrections, Pool via Reuters)

Appeals

Under Minnesota law, Chauvin can appeal his conviction after he receives his sentence.

After the jury began deliberations, Chauvin's lawyer, Eric Nelson, asked the judge to declare a mistrial, arguing that jurors could not have avoided media coverage of the protests surrounding the trial. Specifically, Nelson cited controversial comments from Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who said protesters would need to "get more confrontational" if the jury did not find Chauvin guilty.

Judge Peter Cahill denied the motion but said Waters could have opened the door to an appeal that “may result in this whole trial being overturned.”

Still, convictions are rarely overturned based on public comments made during a trial.

The other officers

Three other former Minneapolis police officers — Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng — were charged along with Chauvin in Floyd's death.

They each face charges of aiding and abetting Chauvin in second-degree murder as well as second-degree manslaughter. Prosecutors are seeking to add a third-degree murder charge, which will be decided at a Minnesota Court of Appeals hearing next month.

The aiding-and-abetting murder charge carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, but state sentencing guidelines could limit the maximum term to about 15 years.

Their trial is scheduled to begin on Aug. 23.

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