Who is John Turscak? The Inmate Who Stabbed Derek Chauvin 22 Times in Prison is Former FBI Informant

Turscak is charged with attempt to murder

In a shocking incident at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson, Arizona, former Mexican Mafia gang leader and one-time FBI informant, John Turscak, carried out a brutal attack on ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Turscak, who is currently serving a 30-year sentence, targeted Chauvin, infamous for the killing of George Floyd, in a stabbing incident that unfolded on Black Friday.

Who is John Turscak, and Why is He Serving Prison?

John turscak

John Turscak, 52, a former leader of the Mexican Mafia in the late 1990s, turned FBI informant in 1997. However, his involvement in criminal activities, including drug dealing and assaults, led to his dismissal as an informant. Turscak pleaded guilty in 2001 to racketeering and conspiring to kill a gang rival. Despite cooperating with the FBI, he received a hefty sentence.

The Attack on Derek Chauvin: A Symbolic Act

The assault on Chauvin occurred in the prison law library, where Turscak allegedly stabbed him 22 times with an improvised knife. Federal prosecutors revealed that Turscak intended the attack as a symbolic gesture connecting Black Friday to the Black Lives Matter movement, which gained momentum after George Floyd's murder in 2020. The "Black Hand" symbol associated with the Mexican Mafia also played a role in his motives, according to prosecutors.

Correctional officers swiftly responded to the attack, using pepper spray to subdue Turscak and performing life-saving measures on Chauvin. The ex-police officer was subsequently transported to a hospital for treatment.

Legal Ramifications for John Turscak

Turscak now faces charges of attempted murder, assault with intent to commit murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, and assault resulting in serious bodily injury. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison for each attempted murder and assault with intent to commit murder charge. Turscak is currently scheduled to complete his existing sentence in 2026.

No lawyer is currently listed for Turscak in court records, and he has represented himself in various legal matters from prison.

Chauvin's Condition and Background

Chauvin, 47, was transferred to FCI Tucson in August 2022 to serve concurrent federal and state sentences for violating George Floyd's civil rights and second-degree murder, respectively. His lawyer, Eric Nelson, had advocated for keeping him out of the general population due to safety concerns.

As of the latest updates, Chauvin is in stable condition, but details about the assault and his injuries remain limited. The Bureau of Prisons has assured updates to those Chauvin requested to be notified.

The stabbing incident involving Chauvin adds to a series of high-profile incidents within the federal prison system, prompting increased scrutiny on the Bureau of Prisons. An ongoing Associated Press investigation has uncovered systemic flaws, including staffing shortages, violence, and escapes.

This attack comes amid the backdrop of the U.S. Supreme Court rejecting Chauvin's appeal of his murder conviction and his ongoing attempt to overturn his federal guilty plea.