On August 15, 2022, in Hennepin County District Court Minnesota Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank offered the following plea deal to J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao: (a) drop their convictions for aiding and abetting the second-degree murder of George Floyd in exchange for their pleading guilty to the lesser charge of aiding and abetting manslaughter and (b) recommending a three-year prison sentence to be served concurrently with their federal sentences of three years for Kueng and 3 ½ years for Thao.
With Judge Peter Cahill presiding, both men rejected the proposed plea deal with Thao saying, “It would be a lie and a sin for me to accept a plea deal.”
Prosecutor Frank added that the proposed plea deal thus had expired, and the two men still faced their scheduled October 24th trial in this court.
Before the public hearing, Judge Cahill rejected a request from both defense attorneys to hold today’s proceedings in private chambers to avoid media attention. Thao’s attorney said allowing it to proceed in open court made it purely for “public consumption” and would impede a fair trial, while Kueng’s attorney said prosecutors have unfairly taken advantage of the media spectacle around the high-profile cases against the officers. Judge Cahill, however, said he didn’t see how their clients declining to plead guilty would harm their credibility with a jury. The Judge also denied Thao’s attorney’s request to gag prosecutors from talking to reporters.
In a subsequent public statement, Attorney General Keith Ellison said it’s “a standard best practice” to make a record in court when prosecutors offer a plea agreement to ensure the defendant is making a knowing and free decision. The defendants have a right to decline the offer and proceed to trial. The State is ready for trial.”
 Mannix, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng reject plea deal offered by state prosecutors in George Floyd killing, StarTribune (Aug. 15, 2022); Karnowski, Thao, Kueng say they rejected plea deal in Floyd killing, Assoc. Press (Aug. 15, 2022).