The New York Times recently revealed that Attorney General William Barr rejected a plea deal from Derek Chauvin, the police officer who held his knee to George Floyd’s neck, who agreed to plead guilty to third-degree murder days after Floyd’s death. Chauvin is currently facing second-degree murder charges and is scheduled for trial in March.
A former Justice Department official confirmed the failed deal to NBC News, stating, “His lawyers were trying to rush us, and we didn’t want to be rushed.”
Lacey Severins, a spokeswoman for the Hennepin County attorney’s office, which was handling the case at the time, also commented. She stated, “As is typical in many cases, early negotiations can occur between all relevant parties involved. Many times, a defendant will explore their options with a negotiation. It is also common for these types of discussions to happen in the beginning of a case and then have no agreed upon negotiations develop. This case was no different. Negotiations were discussed, nothing developed.”
The Times reported that Chauvin was willing to go to prison for more than 10 years. The plea deal fell apart when Barr worried that it was too early in the investigation and would be perceived as too lenient. Barr also reportedly wanted state officials to make their own decision in the case, as they were taking over.
Source: NBC News