October 24, 2022, was the scheduled date for starting the state criminal trial of former Minneapolis Police officers Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng for the killing of George Floyd. Instead that day Thao told Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill that he was giving up his right to a jury trial and agreeing instead to a trial only on the aiding and abetting the second-degree manslaughter charge by stipulated evidence. (That same day Kueng and the prosecution announced to the Court that they had negotiated an agreement for a guilty plea by Kueng.) 
Thus, January 30, 2023, marked the filing of the parties’ briefs in the Thao state criminal case. 
Thao’s attorney argued that Thao is innocent of criminal wrongdoing and should be acquitted on state charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter. This is the necessary conclusion from the state’s failing to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Thao knew that Chauvin was committing a crime or that Thao intended to aid in a crime.
Thao “reasonably believed” that Floyd was experiencing a controversial set of symptoms known as “excited delirium” and that the actions he took at the scene were with the intention of helping to get Floyd medical attention faster because he was trained to view excited delirium as life threatening.. Every one of Thao’s actions was done based upon the training he received from the Minneapolis Police Department.
Based on his training and experience, “Thao reasonable believed that Floyd could be experiencing excited delirium and that Chauvin was acting within the bounds of hi legal authority because MPD repeatedly had trained its officers to do just that. In addition, Thao acted repeatedly and intentionally to get [Floyd] the proper medical attention
Thao acknowledged he heard onlookers becoming more anxious about Floyd’s condition and calling on officers to check his pulse. But he said his role was control of the crowd of about 15 bystanders. While he acknowledged hearing Floyd saying, “I can’t breathe,” he said he didn’t know there was anything seriously wrong with him even as an ambulance took him away.
Prosecutors argued in their brief that Thao “acted without courage and displayed no compassion” despite his nearly nine years of experience and that he disregarded his training even though he could see Floyd’s life slowly ebbing away.
Prosecutor Matthew Frank disputed the excited delirium defense, writing that even witnesses who believe excited delirium exists testified previously that Floyd displayed none of the symptoms.
“Thao was aware that his three colleagues were on top of Floyd, and were restraining Floyd in the prone position. Thao knew that this prone restraint was extremely dangerous because it can cause asphyxia — the inability to breathe — the exact condition from which Floyd repeatedly complained he was suffering. Yet Thao made the conscious decision to aid that dangerous restraint by actively encouraging the other three officers, and assisting their crime by holding back concerned bystanders.”
Cahill has 90 days to rule and hand down a sentence if he finds Thao guilty. He’ll base his decision on evidence agreed to by both sides — exhibits and transcripts from Chauvin’s 2021 murder trial in state court and the federal civil rights trial of Thao, Kueng and Thomas Lane last year. Thao was specifically convicted then of depriving Floyd of his right to medical care and of failing to intervene and stop Chauvin.
If Thao is convicted of aiding and abetting manslaughter, Minnesota guidelines recommend four years on the manslaughter count. He would serve his state term concurrent with his federal sentence.
 Kueng and State Agree on Guilty Plea while Thao Agrees to Judge Cahill’s Deciding His Case on Existing Record, dwkcommentaries.com (Oct. 24, 2022).
 Karnowski, Fate of last ex-cop charged in Floyd murder, AP News (Feb. 1. 2023); State’s Closing Argument, State v. Thao, Court File No. 27-
CR-20,12949, Henn. County Dist. Ct. (Jan. 31, 2023); Defendant Thao’s Closing Argument, Court File No. 27-CR-20,12949, Henn. County Dist. Ct. (Jan. 31, 2023).