Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is moving forward to appeal his conviction and sentence in the murder case of George Floyd.
Chauvin’s attorney filed a notice of appeal on Friday morning, Reuters reported, “arguing that the judge in his case abused his discretion and made multiple errors during the trial.”
“In his appeal, Chauvin plans to raise 14 separate issues, including Judge Peter Cahill’s decision to deny Chauvin’s request to move the trial out of Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis, because of the intense pretrial publicity,” the report noted.
The former officer is arguing that the judge “improperly denied requests to grant him a new trial, sequester the jury during trial and disqualify ‘clearly biased’ potential jurors during jury selection,” adding that Judge Peter Cahill “erred in permitting prosecutors to add a third-degree murder charge shortly before trial and in concluding that the man who had been with Floyd on the day of his arrest could not be forced to testify.”
Judge Cahill this summer sentenced Chauvin to 22.5 years – 270 months — behind bars for the murder of Floyd. Chauvin was facing up to 40 years after he was convicted in April of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
As highlighted by The Washington Post, under typical circumstances, Chauvin should have been facing 11 to 12 years behind bars per state sentencing guidelines for someone with no criminal history. However, Judge Cahill ruled last month that “prosecutors had proven there were aggravating factors in the case that called for a tougher sentence.”
The prosecution asked for Chauvin to serve 30 years behind bars, while Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson argued his client should be placed on probation and time-served.
“Mr. Chauvin is not the average offender,” Nelson argued before sentencing. “Prior to this incident, Mr. Chauvin led a hard-working, law-abiding life and has experienced no legal issues until the point of his arrest.”
“Mr. Chauvin was unaware he was even committing a crime,” the attorney added. “In fact, in his mind, he was simply performing his lawful duty assisting other officers in the arrest of George Floyd.”
Nelson formally filed for a new trial on May 4, but his motion was rejected by Judge Cahill one day before sentencing.
In the court filing, Nelson said the “court violated Chauvin’s right to due process and fair trial when the court decided against sequestering the jury and granting a venue change,” The Daily Wire reported.
As highlighted by Reuters, “Chauvin separately filed a request to put his appeal on hold until Minnesota’s Supreme Court reviews an earlier decision to deny him a public defender to represent him in his appeal.”
“In an affidavit, Chauvin said he has no income aside from ‘nominal prison wages’ and no assets other than two retirement accounts,” the report said. “The Minneapolis Peace and Police Officers Association, which funded his defense, stopped paying for his legal representation after his conviction and sentencing.”