Minnesota Supreme Court won't hear 3rd-degree murder charge appeal in Chauvin case

The Minnesota Supreme Court says it will not hear any appeal from Derek Chauvin’s legal team as it relates to adding a third-degree murder charge in the death of George Floyd.

In a ruling Wednesday, Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea said the petition filed by Chauvin’s team was denied, meaning the decision to add the charge will be determined by Judge Peter Cahill, who is presiding over the trial. 

After the Supreme Court ruling, Cahill said a discussion over adding the third-degree murder charge will take place Thursday at 8 a.m. He added that there is still a "jurisdictional issue" to work out with the Court of Appeals, which previously ruled he must reconsider reinstating the third-degree murder charge in the case.

MORE: Minnesota's 3rd degree murder charge, explained

"The Supreme Court has denied review of the defendant’s petition for review of court of appeals opinion," Cahill said in court Wednesday. "I think we can talk about this tomorrow at 8 a.m. on its effect. I think we still have the jurisdictional issue with the Court of Appeals."

Attorney General Keith Ellison, who is leading the state prosecution, said he was in support of the Supreme Court's decision.

"We believe the charge of third-degree murder is fair and appropriate," said Ellison in the statement. "We look forward to putting it before the jury, along with charges of second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter."

The Minnesota Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on March 1 over reinstating the third-degree murder charge in the case against Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in the death of George Floyd

Chauvin is already charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter for his role in Floyd’s death last May. He was initially charged with third-degree murder as well, but Cahill dismissed the charge last October, saying it did not apply to this case. The state hoped the appeals court would overrule that decision. 

The push comes after the Court of Appeals recently ruled a third-degree murder charge was appropriate in the case of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, who was convicted in a deadly 2017 shooting. 

The Derek Chauvin trial is currently in its second day of jury selection. The trial itself is set to begin March 29.