Skip to main content

Appeals court: Judge must reconsider reinstating third-degree murder charge against Chauvin

The appeals court's recent decision on a different officer-involved shooting case is precedent, it said.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals says the judge overseeing Derek Chauvin's trial erred in not reinstating the third-degree murder charge against him, and now the judge must reconsider it.

The ruling, issued Friday, comes days before Chauvin's trial is set to begin, with jury selection scheduled to start on Monday, March 8. 

With this ruling, though, it's unclear if the trial will actually begin on Monday.

Judge Cahill could immediately move to reinstate the third-degree murder charge or wait to hear additional arguments from Chauvin's team. Chauvin's attorney could also appeal the decision to the Minnesota Supreme Court, which could delay the trial.

Chauvin in June 2020 was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in connection to George Floyd's death. But in October, Cahill granted a motion from Chauvin's attorney to dismiss the third-degree murder charge against him, saying it didn't apply.

After the appeals court's recent decision to uphold Mohamed Noor's third-degree murder conviction in Justine Damond's death, prosecutors sought to reinstate the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin, but Judge Cahill denied the motion.

Prosecutors appealed Cahill's ruling, leading to the state Court of Appeal's decision that was released Friday. 

In Friday's ruling, the appeals court said its Noor decision is precedent and sent the District Court's decision to remove the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin back to Judge Peter Cahill to reconsider. 

“This court’s precedential opinion in Noor became binding authority on the date it was filed,” the ruling said. “The district court therefore 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 reverse the order of the district court and remand for reconsideration of the state’s motion. On remand, the district court has discretion to consider any additional arguments Chauvin might raise in opposition to the state’s motion," the ruling adds, noting the district court's decision "must be consistent with this opinion."

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose office is prosecuting the case, said the state Court of Appeals "decided this matter correctly."

“We believe the charge of third-degree murder, in addition to manslaughter and felony murder, reflects the gravity of the allegations against Mr. Chauvin," Ellison said. "Adding this charge is an important step forward in the path toward justice. We look forward to presenting all charges to the jury in Hennepin County."

The other three officers charged in Floyd's death are set to go to trial in August.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

Next Up

Xcel Energy Center

NHL announces make-up dates for Wild postponements

The Wild will play 40 games in the final 77 days of the regular season.

the mayo clinic - edit

Group says Mayo should be 'severely punished' over research puppy's death

The puppy died two days after undergoing a procedure at a Mayo research facility.

FLickr - minneapolis police - Tony Webster - Feb 2020 - crop

Charges: Man kidnapped woman, sexually assaulted her at gunpoint

The suspect faces three separate felony charges.

mn state capitol january 17 2021

St. Cloud 'Boogaloo Boi' who discussed attack on MN Capitol gets 2 years

He was charged with illegally possessing a machine gun.

Chris Smith

Gophers add All-Ivy League D-tackle from Harvard

Chris Smith will be eligible immediately as a graduate transfer.

school bus

High school basketball team returns from game to find bus driver dead

Members of the girls team returned to the bus to find the driver unresponsive.

covid-19 testing site sign

Minnesota AG sues COVID testing site, alleging it sent false results

Sometimes the company didn't send people their results at all, the lawsuit alleges.

optum headquarters chad davis wikimedia commons

UnitedHealth Group says it made $287B last year, $24B of it profit

The corporation's Optum business represented a significant chunk of that total.


Omicron may have already peaked in Minnesota

Reported cases lag what's happening in real time, so the newly reported cases over the next week or so will still be very high.

MnDot snow plow cam I-35 12-10-21

MnDOT reveals 50 snowplow name finalists

Voting is open through Wednesday, Jan. 26.

gov tim walz

Walz's $2.7B infrastructure plan includes $940M for climate projects

Projects will help Minnesota prevent or adapt to climate change and mitigate its impacts, the governor says.


chauvin trial day 4

Chauvin trial: Judge reinstates third-degree murder charge

After several appeals and hearings, Judge Cahill reinstated the charge against Chauvin.

Lane kueng thao chauvin

Prosecutors seek to charge all 4 officers with third-degree murder in Floyd's death

A recent appeals court ruling upheld the same charge against former MPD officer Noor, which the state says sets a precedent for the Floyd case.

derek chauvin

Derek Chauvin is appealing his conviction of murdering George Floyd

He's representing himself because he doesn't have money to hire an attorney.

Judge Peter Cahill - March 8

Chauvin trial: Jury pool sent home as court awaits appeals court guidance

Judge Cahill rejected the prosecution's motion to delay the start of jury selection, but it was delayed Monday anyway.

Lane kueng thao chauvin

Judge dismisses 1 charge against Chauvin, more serious charges remain

The judge denied the majority of the motions to dismiss the charges against the four officers accused in George Floyd's death.

derek chauvin

Judge will consider longer prison sentence for Derek Chauvin

The judge ruled there were aggravating factors in Floyd's death.

Lane kueng thao chauvin

Judge denies effort to add third-degree murder charges in George Floyd case

Derek Chauvin is still charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The other three officers face aiding and abetting charges.