The judge overseeing the federal civil rights cases of four former Minneapolis police officers in the killing of George Floyd has accepted the terms of Derek Chauvin’s plea agreement and will sentence him to 20 to 25 years in prison, reports the Associated Press. Chauvin pleaded guilty Dec. 15 to violating Floyd’s civil rights, admitting for the first time that he kept his knee on Floyd’s neck after he became unresponsive, resulting in the Black man’s death on May 25, 2020. The white former officer admitted he willfully deprived Floyd of his right to be free from unreasonable seizure, including unreasonable force by a police officer.
Under the plea agreement, both sides agreed Chauvin should face a sentence ranging from 20 to 25 years, with prosecutors saying they would seek 25. He could have faced life in prison on the federal count. With credit for good time, he would serve from 17 years to 21 years and three months behind bars. U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson deferred accepting the agreement pending a presentence investigation. He said Wednesday that the report had been issued, so it was appropriate to accept the deal. Chauvin is serving a 22 1/2 year sentence for his murder conviction in state court last year, though he is appealing that conviction. He would serve the federal sentence concurrently with the state sentence. The federal plea deal means Chauvin will probably spend more time in prison than he faced under his state sentence. State prisoners in Minnesota typically serve one-third of their sentence on parole, which for him would mean 15 years in prison.