The charges against the officer accused of killing George Floyd will be elevated from third-degree murder to second-degree murder, the Star Tribune reported Wednesday.
Attorney General Keith Ellison plans to change the charges against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck, and was initially charged with third-degree murder, according to the Star Tribune.
Minnesota is one of few states that allows prosecutors to consider third-degree murder according to CNN, which is defined under the state’s law as causing death of a person “by perpetuating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind” without regard for life and without intent to kill.
The crime carries a sentence of no more than 25 years or a fine of no more than $40,000. (RELATED: Minnesota AG Keith Ellison Says He Expects Charges ‘Soon’ Against Cops Involved In Death Of George Floyd)
The second-degree charge, however, escalates prison time to no more than 40 years and is considered an intentional killing that isn’t premeditated and carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison, according to HG Legal Resources.
The new charges come after Democratic Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz concluded that Ellison should take over the case from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office at the urging of Floyd’s family and activists, according to the Star Tribune.