MINNEAPOLIS – The former Minneapolis Police Officer convicted in the murder of George Floyd will serve 22 ½ years behind bars.
45-year-old Derek Chauvin, who did not testify at his trial, broke his long courtroom silence Friday offering condolences to Floyd’s family and saying he hopes more information coming out will give them “some peace of mind.”
“But very briefly, though, I do want to give my condolences to the Floyd family. There’s going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest. And I hope things will give you some some peace of mind,” he said, without elaborating.
Prosecutors had asked for a 30-year sentence, and Chauvin’s attorney asked for probation and time served. Chauvin was convicted in April of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Technically, Chauvin faced up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder and up to 10 years for manslaughter.
However, Chauvin has no prior criminal record. State guidelines say that for such a person, the presumptive sentence for both second-degree and third-degree murder is 12 1/2 years. The judge was given discretion to hand down a sentence between 10 years and eight months and 15 years for each.
With good behavior, Chauvin could be paroled after serving two-thirds of his sentence, or about 15 years.
Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson called Floyd’s death “tragic,” and that Chauvin”s “brain is littered with what-ifs” from the day: “What if I just did not agree to go in that day? What if things had gone differently? What if I never responded to that call? What if what if what if?”
Floyd’s family members took the stand and expressed sorrow about his death. They asked for the maximum penalty.
“We don’t want to see no more slaps on the wrist. We’ve been through that already,” said a tearful Terrence Floyd, one of Floyd’s brothers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.