Court OKs 3rd-degree murder against 3-ex cops in Floyd death

The Minnesota Court of Appeals says prosecutors may file aiding and abetting third-degree murder charges against three former Minneapolis police officers in the death of George Floyd

Prosecutors may file aiding and abetting third-degree murder charges against three former Minneapolis police officers in the death of George Floyd the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.

The appeals court sent the case back to Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill. He denied prosecutors' motion to add the charges against former officers J Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao back in February during the runup to the separate trial of former Officer Derek Chauvin whom Cahill sentenced on Friday to 22 1/2 years in prison for second-degree murder.

A three-judge appeals panel, which heard oral arguments May 20, said its decision in March to allow prosecutors to reinstate a third-degree murder charge against Chauvin requires a reversal of the trial court's decision against allowing aiding and abetting third-degree murder charges against the other three defendants.

The proper interpretation of Minnesota's third-degree murder statute has been disputed in the cases involving the four ex-officers, as well as the case of former Minneapolis police Officer Mohamed Noor in the 2017 shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.

The central issue is whether a defendant's fatal actions must be directed at more than one person, as defense attorneys have argued. In affirming Noor's conviction, the appeals court ruled that the act can be directed at a single person. Cahill then reinstated the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin on that basis, but deferred a ruling in the cases of the other three.

The Minnesota Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Noor’s appeal three weeks ago, and its pending decision is expected to have repercussions for all five ex-officers, as well as the ability of prosecutors to charge other officers with third-degree murder,.

Kueng, Lane and Thao are currently charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter. They're scheduled for trial in March. They and Chauvin also face federal civil rights charges in Floyd's death.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in