State files request for aggravated sentence for Derek Chauvin

Derek Chauvin's latest mugshot after he was booked into prison following his conviction. (Minnesota Dept. of Corrections)

The state filed a request Friday for an aggravated sentence for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted by a jury for the murder of George Floyd.

Due to Minnesota statute, Chauvin will only be sentenced for the most serious charge -- second-degree murder. Since Chauvin does not have a criminal record, under sentencing guidelines his presumptive sentence would be 12 1/2 years. 

In their filing, the prosecution argues there are five factors that warrant an increased sentence:

  • Floyd was a particularly vulnerable victim because he was handcuffed.
  • Floyd was treated with particular cruelty because Chauvin "inflicted gratuitous pain," his actions caused "psychological distress" for Floyd and the bystanders, and Chauvin did not provide Floyd medical aid.
  • Chauvin abused his position of authority as a police officer.
  • Chauvin committed the crime as a part of a group of at least three people. Three other former Minneapolis police officers have been charged in connection to the incident.
  • The crime happened in front of children.

"Any one of these five aggravating factors would be sufficient on its own to warrant an upward sentencing departure. Here, all five apply," read the state's request.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson submitted a rebuttal with the following arguments against each of the factors the state laid out:

  • Floyd wasn't particularly vulnerable due to his handcuffs because the initial handcuffing and restraint were "clearly legal."
  • There wasn't particular cruelty because the bystanders could have left at any time, the officers had called for an ambulance and that Chauvin's assault was not "gratuitous".
  • Abuse of authority by a police officer is not an aggravating sentence factor in Minnesota.
  • The factor for an aggravated sentence is for "three or more offenders" and the other officers involved have not been convicted.
  • The children who saw the incident weren't in danger and could have left at any time.

Chauvin's sentencing is scheduled to take place on June 25.