A top Minnesota state official officially entered his appearance as the person who will prosecute ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the alleged second-degree murder of George Floyd. Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank will represent the state in the case.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is the lead prosecutor.
We learned on Wednesday afternoon that charges against Chauvin were upgraded from third-degree murder to second-degree murder. Though many legal analysts noted in the immediate aftermath of Floyd’s death that second-degree murder generally requires prosecutors to prove intent to kill, in this case, prosecutors are attempting to employ a lesser-discussed subsection of Minnesota’s second-degree murder statute that does not on its face require proof of intent to kill.
“That on or about May 25, 2020, in Hennepin County, Minnesota, Derek Michael Chauvin, caused the death of a human being, George Floyd, without intent to effect the death of any person, while committing or attempting to commit a felony offense other than criminal sexual conduct in the first or second degree with force or violence or a drive-by shooting, namely assault in the third degree,” the charge description said [emphases ours].
That’s punishable upon conviction by up to 40 years behind bars, which is greater than the previous maximum by 15 years. The other two counts: third-degree murder for perpetrating an eminently dangerous act and evincing a depraved mind; second-degree manslaughter with culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk.
“You will please take notice that the State of Minnesota will be represented by Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank,” read a certificate of representation submitted by Ellison and signed by Frank.
Ex-cops Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane have also been charged in Floyd’s death. Criminal complaints filed against those three other officers showed that each were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
[Image via Hennepin County Jail]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]