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

Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 5.09.01 PM

Defense witness: Cause of Floyd's death 'undetermined'

Dr. David Fowler, former Maryland chief medical examiner, said there were a number of possible factors that could have led to George Floyd's death.

Jorge Polanco

Red Sox sweep Twins in Wednesday's doubleheader

The Red Sox defeated the Twins 3-2 in Game 1 and 7-1 in Game 2.

Minnesota Wild

Wild score 3 power play goals in win over Coyotes

Mats Zuccarello scored twice in a 5-2 victory.

Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 2.38.15 PM

Viral drone video of Bryant Lake Bowl to be auctioned off as NFT

Non-fungible tokens are the latest craze in consumer finance.

kimberly potter

Here's what the manslaughter charge against Kim Potter says

Activists are calling for more serious charges against the former officer.

Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz criticized for comments on 'thoughtful' use of tear gas

The governor is under fire for comments he made Tuesday as protests continue over the police killing of Daunte Wright.

Andrelton Simmons

Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons placed on COVID-19 list

Simmons is reportedly experiencing mild symptoms.

Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 8.53.07 PM

Kim Potter to be charged with second-degree manslaughter in Daunte Wright's death

Potter was a 26-year veteran officer before she resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department on Tuesday.


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.

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.

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 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.

Lane kueng thao chauvin

Chauvin will be tried separately in George Floyd's death

Chauvin's trial will begin March 8. The trial of the other former offices will begin in August.

derek chauvin

Citing the possibility of fraud, Judge rejects Chauvin divorce agreement

The proposed agreement transferred the majority of the couple's assets to Chauvin's estranged wife.