Court Denies Third-Degree Murder Charges for George Floyd Killing

A prior post discussed the  history of third-degree murder charges in these four cases: the May 29 and June 3, 2020 original and superseding complaints against Derek Chauvin included the charge; on October 21, the Court dismissed the charge on the ground that it could be sustained only if the defendant’s actions were not specifically directed at a particular person; on February 4, 2021, the State moved to reassert the charge against Chauvin  (and for the first time against the other three defendants for aiding and abetting)] on the basis of a recent Minnesota Court of Appeals decision; and on February 8 Chauvin opposed the motion.[1]

On February 11, the Hennepin County District Court denied the State’s motion for leave to amend its complaint to assert this charge. [2] This conclusion was justified by the court’s belief that the dissent in the recent Court of Appeals case was correct. “Although the Noor majority opinion is thorough, it is not persuasive in this Court’s view because it departs from the Minnesota Supreme Court’s long adherence to the no-particular -person requirement embedded in the depraved mind element [of the crime].”

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[1] Prosecution and Chauvin Dispute Adding Third-Degree Murder Charges in George Floyd Criminal Case, dwkcommentaries.com (Feb. 10, 2021).

[2]  Order and Memorandum Opinion Denying State’s Motion To Reinstate or Add Third-Degree Murder Charge, State v. Chauvin, Hennepin County District Court (Dist. Ct. File No. 27-CR-20-12646 Feb. 11, 2021); Xiong, Judge rejects third-degree murder charge against ex-officers in George Floyd case, StarTribune (Feb. 11, 2021).

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dwkcommentaries

As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

6 thoughts on “Court Denies Third-Degree Murder Charges for George Floyd Killing”

  1. State Appeals Dismissal of Third-Degree Murder Charges in George Floyd Cases

    As reported in the above post, on February 11, the Hennepin County District Court denied the State’s motion to amend its complaints against the four defendants in the George Floyd killing cases to assert third-degree murder charges.

    On February 22, the State appealed that decision to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. A prime basis for the appeal is that appellate court’s recent ruling that sustained a third-degree murder charge against another former Minneapolis policeman, Mohamed Noor. But that decision will soon go into hibernation when Noor files an expected appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court./a

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    /a Xiong, Third-degree murder charges against George Floyd cops sought again, StarTribune (Feb. 22, 2021, https://www.startribune.com/third-degree-murder-charges-against-george-floyd-cops-sought-again/600026243/. See also these posts to dwkcommentaries.com: Prosecution and Chauvin Dispute Adding Third-Degree Murder Chargers in George Floyd Criminal Case (Feb. 10, 2021), https://dwkcommentaries.com/2021/02/10/prosecution-and-chauvin-dispute-adding-third-degree-murder-charges-in-george-floyd-criminal-case/;
    Court Denies Third-Degree Murder Charges for George Floyd Killing (Feb. 12, 2021),
    https://dwkcommentaries.com/2021/02/12/court-denies-third-degree-murder-charges-for-george-floyd-killing/

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