Chauvin already faced charges of second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter, and jury selection in his trial began Tuesday. He has pleaded not guilty. It’s unclear if the new charge could impact the trial’s expected start date of March 29.
Chauvin’s defense attorney Eric Nelson argued in court Thursday that Noor’s case was factually and procedurally different than Chauvin’s interactions with Floyd, in which he knelt on Floyd’s head and neck area for an extended period. However, prosecutors said the judge was bound to follow the appeals court’s precedent.
How we got here
In October, Judge Cahill dropped the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin, ruling the charge can “be sustained only in situations in which the defendant’s actions were ’eminently dangerous to other persons’ and were not specifically directed at the particular person whose death occurred.”
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filed a motion last month asking a district court judge to reinstate the charge, saying that Noor’s sentencing “is precedential and now provides this Court with clear guidance regarding the elements of third-degree murder.”
Appellate court Judge Michelle Larkin wrote the district court “erred by concluding that it was not bound by the principles of law set forth in Noor and by denying the state’s motion to reinstate the charge of third-degree murder on that basis.”
“We therefore reverse the district court’s order and remand for the district court to reconsider the state’s motion to reinstate the third-degree murder charge in light of this court’s precedential opinion in Noor,” Larkin wrote for the panel of three judges.
In a statement to CNN, Ellison said: “We believe the Court of Appeals decided this matter correctly. We believe the charge of 3rd-degree murder, in addition to manslaughter and felony murder, reflects the gravity of the allegations against Mr. Chauvin.”
CNN’s Chris Boyette contributed to this report.
Source: CNN – US News