Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police charged with the killing of George Floyd now faces an additional murder charge. A Hennepin County judge reinstated a count of third-degree murder on Thursday.
Chauvin already faces charges of second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter. He has pleaded not guilty to all three charges.
“The charge of 3rd-degree murder, in addition to manslaughter and felony murder, reflects the gravity of the allegations against Mr. Chauvin,” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a statement. “We look forward to presenting all three charges to the jury.”
These charges now give prosecutors a better chance of obtaining a conviction in this case.
According to CNN, Chauvin was initially charged with third-degree murder in the days after Floyd’s May 2020 death, but Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill dismissed the count in October, saying it did not apply to this case.
However, an appeals court ruling in February in the case against former Minneapolis Police officer Mohamed Noor opened the door to reinstating the charge against Chauvin, and the state subsequently filed an appeal of Cahill’s ruling.