Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin now faces an additional murder charge in the death of George Floyd after a Hennepin County judge reinstated a charge of third-degree murder on Thursday.
Chauvin already faced charges of second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter, and jury selection in his trial began Tuesday. He has pleaded not guilty. It's unclear if the new charge could impact the trial's expected start date of March 29.
Chauvin was initially charged with third-degree murder in the days after Floyd's death, but Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill dismissed the count in October, saying it did not apply to the circumstances of this case. The state appealed that ruling and the Minnesota Court of Appeals ordered Cahill to reconsider the motion to reinstate the charge last week.
The third-degree murder charge, sometimes known as "depraved mind" murder, was most recently used in the trial against former Minneapolis Police officer Mohamed Noor.
He was convicted of the charge after prosecutors said he fired his gun at a person outside of his squad car's window, killing Justine Ruszczyk and endangering his own partner.