The nation waited with bated breath as a jury in Hennepin County read out the verdict in the State V. Chauvin trial on Tuesday. One by one, the group informed the court that they had found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and third-degree manslaughter. As the verdict was read out, Chauvin stared blankly into the abyss. Then, he seemed to write down something before being taken out of the courtroom. This action promoted many to ask what he had written down. Shortly after he left the courtroom, defense attorney Eric Nelson apparently told TMZ that Chauvin had jotted down his phone number, so the two could communicate.
Moving forward, Chauvin will be held in custody as he awaits sentencing in eight weeks. In mid-June, Chauvin could face as much as 40 years behind bars. However, he is expected to be sentenced to less than half of that time because he has no prior criminal history.
Also, Chauvin could look to appeal his sentence. During the course of the trial, Nelson attempted to get a mistrial multiple times. Judge Peter Cahill also claimed that the number of public officials commenting on the trial could favor them during an appeal.
“We’re looking for a guilty verdict and we’re looking to see if all of the talk that took place has been taking place after they saw what happened to George Floyd. If nothing does not happen, then we know that we got to not only stay in the street, but we have got to fight for justice,” Rep. Maxine Waters said on April 17.
“I’ll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned,” Nelson said the following day in response to Nelson's final mistrial motion.
However, a unanimous guilty verdict on all three charges will make overturning the case nearly impossible. In the meantime, attention will turn toward Chauvin's three colleagues, Thomas Lane, Alexander Keung and Tou Thao. The three former officers were present as Chauvin pressed his knee against George Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes. The trio faces charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.
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