by Steve Karnowski
scheduled tribe. Paul, Min. ( Associated Press) — Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane is hoping Thursday for a sentence that could free him after serving two years in prison for his role in the murder of George Floyd.
His lawyer, Earl Gray, has argued that the rookie was the least guilty of the four officers involved in the death of Floyd under the knee of Officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020, a murder that sparked protests in Minneapolis and around the world, and a national count. started. Caste.
Lane is one of three former Minneapolis officers who were convicted by a federal jury in February of violating Floyd’s civil rights by denying him medical care. He faced a separate sentence in a state court on September 21 after pleading guilty to the lesser charges of aiding and abetting the murder.
Lane and fellow rookie J. Alexander Kueng helped stop Floyd, while Chauvin, who is white and the most senior officer at the scene, handcuffed Floyd and knelt on his neck for nearly 9 1/2 minutes despite the disappearing pleas of the unarmed black man. Killed by taking that he could not breathe. Chauvin’s partner, Tou Thao, helped hold back an increasingly anxious group of onlookers outside a Minneapolis convenience store, where Floyd attempted to pass a counterfeit $20 bill in August 2020.
Federal prosecutors have asked U.S. District Judge Paul Magnusson to comply with non-binding federal sentencing guidelines and give Lane a sentence of 5 1/4 to 6 1/2 years.
But Gray has asked for 2 1/4 years. Under federal probation rules, and assuming good behavior, that would result in two years in prison. It so happens that Lane is facing the state charge under his plea agreement, which calls for a sentence of three years, but likely two under the state’s parole system.
Gray argued during the trial that Lane “did everything he possibly could to help George Floyd.” He reported that Lane suggested turning Floyd on his side so he could breathe, but Chauvin rebuffed twice. He also noted that Lane performed CPR to try to revive Floyd after the ambulance arrived.
“Any reasonable person should just be disgusted, angry” that Lane was ever accused, Gray told the jurors in his closing argument.
Lane testified that he didn’t realize it until paramedics overturned him. Prosecutor Manda Sertich countered that his expression of concern showed that he knew Floyd was in distress, but “did nothing to give Mr Floyd the medical help he knew Mr Floyd so desperately needed.” Was.”
When Lane pleaded guilty in state court in May, Gray said Lane hoped to avoid a lengthy sentence. “He has a newborn baby and didn’t want to risk not being a part of the baby’s life,” he said.
Chauvin pleaded guilty in December to separate federal civil rights charges in the murder of Floyd and an unrelated case involving a black teenager. When he appeared before Magnusson two weeks ago, toward the low end of the 20 to 25 year range, both sides sentenced him to 21 years as part of his plea bargain.
During the hearing Magnusson said harsh words to Chauvin, “You completely destroyed the lives of three young officers by commanding the scene.”
Chauvin was already serving a 22 1/2-year state court sentence for second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. His federal and state sentences are running concurrently. While his plea agreement meant accepting nearly three more years behind bars than his state sentence alone, he is expected to be safe longer and have more freedom. Minnesota corrections officials, given his notoriety, have placed Chauvin in solitary confinement in the state’s maximum security prison for his own safety. He has not yet been transferred to the federal prison system.
Magnussen has not set sentencing dates for Thao and Kueng. But he has scheduled a hearing on Friday over objections by his lawyers about how his sentence should be calculated under complex federal guidelines. Prosecutors are seeking unspecified sentences for him that would be shorter than those of Chauvin but “significantly longer” than those of Lane.
Thao and Kueng, who have turned down plea deals, are to be tried on October 24 on state charges of aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Watch Associated Press’s full coverage of the killing of George Floyd here: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-george-floyd