MINNEAPOLIS (WQOW) - It has been less than 24 hours since a jury in Minneapolis found ex-cop Derek Chauvin guilty on two counts of murder and a count of manslaughter. So, what is next for Chauvin?
According to CNN, Chauvin is currently being held in a segregated unit at the Minnesota Correctional Facility - Oak Park Heights in Stillwater until sentencing. That unit keeps Chauvin away from the rest of the inmates for his safety.
In court on Tuesday, Judge Peter Cahill said sentencing will be in eight weeks. While an exact date hasn't been set, eight weeks from now is the week of June 14.
ABC News says Chauvin might only be sentenced on the 2nd degree murder charge because of a Minnesota state law that reads:
2.A.07. When an offender is convicted of two or more felony offenses arising from a single behavioral incident, Minnesota Statutes, section 609.035, "contemplates that a defendant will be punished for the 'most serious' of the offenses." State v. Kebaso, 713 N.W.2d 317, 322 (Minn. 2006). When this occurs, the applicable severity level to use in determining the presumptive sentence is the severity level assigned to the offense being sentenced, which is ordinarily the most serious offense.
The maximum sentence for 2nd degree murder in Minnesota is 40 years in prison. Multiple national news outlets say Chauvin is more likely to receive up to 15 years because of a lack of previous criminal history.
According to Minnesota law, Chauvin has 90 days to file an appeal of the verdict. Ninety days from April 20 (the verdict) is July 12; a day shy of 13 weeks from conviction.
Chauvin may be primed to challenge his sentence on a few different fronts. On multiple occasions throughout the trial, Chauvin's attorney Eric Nelson pointed to intense media coverage of the case, including a $27 million settlement awarded to the Floyd family from the city of Minneapolis. While the jury was sequestered for deliberations, Nelson had made that request weeks previous. It was denied by Cahill. Nelson also asked for a delay in the trial or for it to be moved because he said the settlement would "taint the jury pool." That was also denied.
On the day jurors started deliberating, Nelson made a couple pleas for a mistrial. One argument Nelson made was that state prosecutor Jerry Blackwell used "prosecutorial misconduct" in his closing argument by saying Nelson made up stories and shaded the truth.
Then, Nelson pointed to comments made by U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters who pressed for protests to escalate if Chauvin was found not guilty. Nelson thought a lot of the jurors probably heard those comments. The judge denied the request for mistrial but went as far as to say the comments could lead to the verdict being overturned.
“I’ll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result on this whole trial being overturned,” Cahill said on Monday.
On the other side of the coin, Chauvin could have more time added to his sentence.
That is because of a Blakely motion which adds time to a sentence because of "aggravating factors." Chauvin was given the choice between having Judge Cahill or a jury determine whether those factors justify a longer sentence and Chauvin picked Cahill. One of the aggravating factors mentioned is that there was a 9-year-old girl who watched Floyd die. That girl also testified in court.