Derek Chauvin, former Minnesota police officer and convicted killer, is reportedly nearing a plea deal with federal prosecutors on civil rights charges over the death of George Floyd. Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison for the murder of Floyd last year in April.
He is also facing a federal case for civil rights violation and if proved guilty he could end up serving the rest of his life in prison. That, however, may not be the case also, as reports claim that he is trying to get his sentence reduced and is negotiating a deal.
Chauvin's Desperate Last Attempt
Chauvin, 45, was sentenced by a Minnesota state court on Friday to 22 and half years in prison for Floyd's murder. He was convicted of the May 25, 2020 killing on April 20. He was indicted on May 7 by a grand jury on separate federal charges that he violated Floyd's civil rights by use of excessive force during arrest.
However on Friday, after he was handed down the sentence, Chauvin delivered a cryptic message to Floyd's family in the Minneapolis courtroom. "At this time, due to some additional legal matters at hand, I'm not able to give a full formal statement at this time. But very briefly though, I do want to give my condolences to the Floyd family," Chauvin said. "There's gonna be some other information in the future that would be of interest, and uh, I hope that things will give you some peace of mind. Thank you."
Sources told WCCO TV that they suspect Chauvin was referencing a potential deal when he was sentenced on the state charges. Part of that agreement could compel Chauvin to confess what was going through his mind when he remained kneeled on Floyd's neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, according to prosecutors.
It is now being reported that Chauvin is doing it in a bid to reduce his sentence.
What Does That Mean?
A large section including the Floyd family isn't happy with the jail term handed down to Chauvin. The cop could have been sentenced to as many as 40 years behind the bars and the Floyd family feels what Chauvin got was less.
On Monday, CBS revealed that Chauvin is already in discussion with prosecutors and is nearing a deal see his sentence reduced from life. Although it remains unclear when the negotiations began, but it is expected that it started before he was handed down the sentence last Friday.
Mary Moriarity, the chief public defender of Hennepin County until 2020, told CBS that Chauvin was likely swayed by the swift guilty verdict in the state case.
"In federal court, there would be a substantial difference between what he would receive if he went to trial and was convicted versus what he would get if he pled guilty, and as they say take responsibility for his actions," she said.
According to WCCO TV, Chauvin could now get a 20-25-year sentence to run concurrently with the 22.5 years if he pleads guilty. He would also serve his sentence in a federal prison if the alleged deal is reached.
That said, it is still unclear why the prosecutors are allowing Chauvin to reach such a deal that effectively makes him serve just one sentence for two different cases. It needs to be seen if Chauvin is really trying o do that but as far as the cryptic message he delivered to the Floyd family after his sentencing, it seems he was hinting at such a move.