MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Prosecutors are asking a judge to impose a harsher sentence on Derek Shovin than required by state guidelines when he was sentenced in June to Floyd’s death for Floyd, claiming in court documents on Friday that Floyd was particularly vulnerable because Shavin abused his authority as a police officer.
Defender Eric Nelson opposes the harsher sentence, saying the state could not prove that those aggravating factors, among others, existed when Shavin arrested Floyd on May 25.
Shavin, a white man, was convicted last week of second-degree manslaughter, third-degree murder and second-degree murder for kneeling Floyd in the neck for nine-and-a-half minutes as the SJ man said he could not breathe and moved motionless.
Although he was found guilty on three counts, under Minnesota law he will be sentenced to only the most serious, second-degree murder. Although the calculation provides for a maximum sentence of 40 years, experts say he will not receive that much.
Prosecutors did not say how long they would be looking for Shovin.
According to the Minnesota verdict, the sentence for a second-degree involuntary manslaughter for someone not guilty of a crime like Shavin would be 12 1/2 years. Judges may sentence someone to at least 10 years, eight months, or more than 15 years while still on counseling. To move beyond that, Judge Peter Cahill had to find out that there were “aggravating factors”, and even if they were found, lawyers said Shavin was unlikely to be threatened for more than 30 years.
In a court report on Friday, prosecutors said Shavin should be convicted of over-indulgence because Floyd was particularly vulnerable, folding his arms behind his back while lying face down on the ground that he was drunk. They noted that Shavin took his post even after Floyd did not respond, and the officers knew he had no pulse.
Prosecutors said Shavin had been particularly cruel to Floyd during his long detention, saying that Shavin had caused unreasonable pain, psychological distress to Floyd and passersby.
“The defendant continued to maintain his position above Mr. Floyd, even when Mr. Floyd exclaimed that he felt as sorry as he did when Mr. Floyd. “Floyd shouted 27 times that he could not breathe, even when Mr. Floyd said that the defendant’s actions were killing him,” the prosecutors wrote. They added that he remained in position when Floyd yelled at his mother, stopped talking and lost consciousness.
“Thus, the defendant did not simply cause physical pain. “In the last moments of his life, he caused Mr. Floyd psychological distress, leaving Mr. Floyd helpless when he escaped the last remnants of his life,” the prosecutors wrote.
They allege that Shavin abused his position as a police officer, committed his crime as part of a group of three or more people, linked him to Floyd in the presence of children, including a 9-year-old girl, who testified during the trial that watching restraint “It made him sad, it kind of drove him crazy.”
Nelson did not agree, writing that “Mr. Shavin had jurisdiction over a clash of officers with Floyd Dance to assist in the lawful arrest of a criminal suspect actively resisting. “Mr. Shavin was authorized under Minnesota law to use reasonable force to do so.”
Nelson said Floyd was not particularly vulnerable, saying he was a great man who fought officers. He wrote that the courts usually found vulnerabilities if the victims were young, or perhaps asleep when a crime took place.
Nelson also said that Floyd was not particularly abusive, saying there was no evidence that Chovin’s attack involved unreasonable pain not normally associated with second-degree murder.
“Mr. Floyd’s attack took place in a very short period of time, there are no threats, no jokes, such as putting a gun to his head, pulling the trigger … և ended when the EMS finally responded to the officers’ calls.” Nelson wrote:
He said the state had not proven that any of the other officers had been actively involved in the crime for which Shavin had been convicted. The officers are due to stand trial in August to support the charges. He wrote that the presence of children in this case is different from the cases when children can witness a crime at home without being able to leave.
According to him, the state could not prove that Shovin’s role as a police officer was an aggravating factor, saying that Floyd’s struggle with the officers showed that Shovin’s reputation was irrelevant to Floyd.
Cahill said he would review the lawyers’ written arguments before finding out if there were aggravating factors that would impose a harsher sentence.
Regardless of Shawn’s sentence, in Minnesota it is assumed that a well-behaved defendant will serve two-thirds of his sentence and the rest will be released on parole, commonly known as parole.
Find the full AP coverage of Floyd’s death here: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-george-floyd