Judge Finds Aggravating Factors In George Floyd Death, Paving Way For Tougher Chauvin Sentence

(Photo by KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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A Minnesota judge determined there were aggravating factors in the murder of George Floyd, which could result in a longer sentence for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Judge Peter Cahill ruled that Chauvin treated Floyd with “particular cruelty” and abused his authority when he restrained Floyd. Chauvin is set to be sentenced on June 25 and could receive a penalty of up to 40 years in prison for his second-degree murder conviction.

Experts say he is unlikely to get more than 30 years, according to the Associated Press. The presumptive sentence for second-degree unintentional murder in Minnesota is 12 1/2 years.

Prosecutors have asked for an “upward departure” in order for Chauvin to get a stricter sentence than recommended by state guidelines. They argued that he inflicted gratuitous pain and psychological stress on Floyd due to the victim’s vulnerable position as he was handcuffed on the ground.

Cahill agreed with the prosecutors on all arguments except one, that Floyd was “particularly vulnerable.” (RELATED: Could Derek Chauvin Win An Appeal? Here’s What Legal Experts Say)

Chauvin was recently indicted on federal charges as well, along with three other former Minneapolis police officers who were present when Floyd was killed. Chauvin’s defense has already filed a motion for a new trial on the grounds that at least one juror was biased against him after attending a Black Lives Matter protest last year.