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Breakdown of the charges Derek Chauvin faces

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MINNEAPOLIS (KTTC) --The fate of Derek Chauvin will soon be in the hands of 12 strangers. Chauvin is the former Minneapolis police officer who is charged with the death of George Floyd after kneeling on his neck for nearly 10 minutes.

On Monday, 12 jurors in the Derek Chauvin trial will hear closing arguments from both sides.

"The attorney's job in the closing arguments is to do just that, to argue," said Jim McGeeney, a Rochester-based criminal defense attorney. "Generally, in closing arguments, they get to show what the evidence has proven or not proven."

After closing arguments, the jury will receive instructions and guidelines to follow, and then they will be sequestered as they deliberate.

The charges

Second-Degree Unintentional Murder
According to Minnesota State Statutes, second-degree unintentional murder carries a maximum prison sentence of 40 years.

"You have to prove that Mr. Chauvin caused the death of Mr. Floyd while committing a felony. But you don't necessarily have to prove his intent was to cause the death," McGeeney said.

Third-Degree Murder
Third-degree murder carries a prison sentence of up to 25 years, and/or a fine of no more than $40,000.

"What we commonly call as a 'depraved mind.' So it has to be an intentional act that is imminently dangerous to other persons without regard to human life," McGeeney said.

Second Degree Manslaughter
Second-degree murder carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years, and/ or a fine of no more than $20,000.

"For manslaughter, it would have to be what's known as 'culpable negligence.' Culpable negligence really is gross negligence together with recklessness. And, of course, recklessness is a conscious disregard of the risk that you're creating by your behavior," McGeeney said.

How long Chauvin could be in prison if found guilty

The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines says someone without prior convictions, like Chauvin, would most likely get a 12.5 year sentence for second and third-degree murder, and a four-year sentence for manslaughter.

"The jurors can certainly find all three of the counts and complaints have been proven. And find him guilty of all three. But he couldn't be convicted of all three. Because you can't be convicted for multiple crimes arising. If he's found guilty, likely he would only be convicted of the most serious offense which would be second-degree murder," McGeeney said.

In 2019, a jury convicted former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor of third-degree murder and manslaughter, for the shooting and killing of Justin Ruszczyk Damond. Noor was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison.

Closing arguments in the Derek Chauvin trial are Monday at 9 a.m.

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KaMaria Braye

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