SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A jury is deciding the fate of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin who is facing three different charges in the death of George Floyd. Those charges are second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The now 16-day trial began the morning of April 19 with closing arguments from the state. What the three charges have in common is they do not require the state to prove Derek Chauvin intended to kill George Floyd or that his actions were the only cause of his death.
“The differences between the three charges really lie in what we call Derek Chauvin’s guilty mind,” said Stacie Bilyeu, Springfield defense attorney. “What was going on up here when he had his knee in the back of George Floyd’s neck.”
Bilyeu said under Minnesota statute, Chauvin’s second charge of third-degree murder involves the suspect having what’s called a “depraved mind.”
“He did something that any fool ought to know you ought not do,” said Bilyeu. “By doing this dangerous act, you are therefore revealing a depraved mind.”
Once closing arguments wrap up, the jury will be sequestered until they decide each verdict. Bilyeu said the easiest charge to prove is second-degree manslaughter.
“When we’re talking about a depraved mind, you don’t have to be mean, you just have to be reckless and sloppy,” said Bilyeu. “You just don’t care.”
Bilyeu said Chauvin could be found guilty of one charge, but be acquitted of the others. He could also be found guilty or acquitted of all three.
More than 3,000 National Guard troops have been deployed throughout Minneapolis along with about 1,000 law enforcement officers.