Third-Degree Murder Charge Reinstated Against Derek Chauvin for George Floyd’s Murder

A Minnesota judge has added an additional third-degree murder charge, officially reinstating it, against former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, according to CNN. Chauvin already faces second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter charges.

The new charge will give prosecutors a third way to possibly convict Chauvin in the high-profile case. It is being tried at Hennepin County Government Center.

Floyd was killed last May when Chauvin was seen in a cell phone video pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for several minutes as Floyd lay pinned to the ground.

While Chauvin initially faced third-degree murder charges, Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill dismissed them last October, claiming it did not apply to Chauvin’s case. However, the state of Minneapolis appealed the ruling, and the Minnesota Court of Appeals ordered the judge to consider the charge again.

“This charge has not come out of left field,” Judge Peter Cahill said today. “It was originally charged. I think the defense has been aware that the state will take every opportunity to try and add it back.”

Chauvin has pleaded not guilty. The jury selection for his trial began last Tuesday, and five out of 12 jurors have already been seated, according to The New York Times. Opening arguments are scheduled to begin on March 29.

If convicted of second-degree murder, Chauvin could face about 11 to 15 years in prison. However, the maximum penalty is up to 40 years. The maximum penalty for the third-degree murder charge is 25 years in prison.