On Wednesday (May 12), Judge Peter Cahill ruled that Chauvin abused his authority as an officer last year when he restrained George Floyd with a knee to his neck for nearly nine minutes and failed to seek medical assistance when he was in distress.
He also said that Floyd’s complaints about his inability to breathe and the “prolonged nature of the asphyxiation” he experienced amid the violent restraint were examples of the “particular cruelty” Chauvin imposed on the late man.
Other aggravating factors being considered in Chauvin’s sentencing include the fact that the crime was executed with children around and that it was committed with help from at least three people. Cahill added that Floyd being “particularly vulnerable” while under Chauvin’s restraint could be a possible aggravating factor but noted that Minnesota hadn't proved that beyond a reasonable doubt.
After three weeks and 45 testimonies in his murder trial, a 12-person jury found Chauvin guilty in the murder of Floyd. He was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter but will only be sentenced based on the murder charge. Minnesota suggests that Chauvin and other first time offenders receive a sentence of 12.5 years. The aggravating factors can extend his possible sentence but most likely won’t exceed 30 years.
Per USA Today, Minnesota law typically grants early releases to those on good behavior after they’ve served two-thirds of their time in jail. In those cases, the remaining sentence is completed while on parole.
Chauvin is currently being housed at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights where he’s been placed in a segregation housing unit to ensure his safety. His sentencing date is on June 25. It was initially set for June 16, but it was reportedly pushed back because of a scheduling conflict. The former officer is also hoping to get a new trial as he believes pretrial publicity affected his previous one.