United Kingdom

Derek Chauvin handcuffed and led back to his cell to await word on where he'll serve his sentence

Derek Chauvin was handcuffed and taken away to the cells on Tuesday after Judge Peter Cahill revoked his bail, ahead of sentencing for the murder of George Floyd.

The 45-year-old former Minneapolis police officer was found guilty of all counts at the end of a three week trial, with the jury taking just ten hours to reach their unanimous verdict.

After the verdict was read out at 4pm local time, Chauvin, showing no emotion, was taken straight to the cells in Hennepin County Government Center, where the trial was held, for processing.

Derek Chauvin was handcuffed and led away on Tuesday to be held in jail before sentencing

It was unclear where he would be held for the next eight weeks, until sentencing.

He spent four months at the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center in St. Paul, 11 miles east of the downtown Minneapolis courtroom, following his arrest.

The 500-bed pre-trial facility was where Chauvin was held from May 27 - two days after Floyd's killing - until he was freed on a $1 million bail in October. 

Chauvin was held in pre-trial detention at Ramsey County Adult Detention Center (above)

Wherever Chauvin is kept prior to his sentencing, he will be closely watched to ensure his safety.

He will certainly be considered a suicide risk, and will be monitored. 

Well-being checks are one of the most important safeguards a jail can take to prevent inmate harm, said Bill Hutton, Executive Director of the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association - speaking to KARE 11 in February, after the 10th inmate since 2015 took his own life inside Hennepin jail.

By law, well-being checks on each inmate at a jail need to be made once every 30 minutes. 

For those inmates who are physically or mentally sick, checks should be done far more frequently. 

He will also, as a former police officer, be at risk from other inmates.

While being held before the trial, the managers of the jail ensured that he would not be protected by black guards, according to a lawsuit filed in February.

Eight minority correctional officers at Ramsey County jail filed a racial discrimination case, alleging only white employees were allowed to guard or interact with Chauvin.

The lawsuit, filed in Minnesota district court, alleges a top official at the center ordered employees of color to segregate on a separate floor away from Chauvin when he turned himself in on murder charges. 

It also claims the former officer received special treatment at the facility, including from a jail official who is related to his sister, and was allowed to use her phone - a violation of jail policy. 

It remains unclear where Chauvin will ultimately serve his sentence - and officials may keep the location under wraps due to safety concerns. 

Because he was convicted at the state level he will be incarcerated in Minnesota, at one of the following state prisons: 

MCF - Oak Park Heights would be a likely pick for Chauvin because, as the state's only Level 5 maximum-security prison with fewer than 500 inmates, it is regarded as one of the safest for high-risk offenders. 

What's next? Case heads to pre-sentencing investigation

Chauvin's sentence will rely heavily on a pre-sentencing investigation during which his character and habits – things not touched on in trial – will be taken into consideration.

Ahead of the trial the prosecution lobbied to have eight of Chauvin's prior arrests in which they argue he used excessive force admitted in court.

Judge Cahill deemed all but two inadmissible on the grounds that the incidents were not similar enough and that the prosecution were improperly trying to show Chauvin's propensity to resort to unreasonable force.

At the time he made his decision Cahill said that the state was simply trying 'to depict Chauvin as a "thumper"'.

Ultimately the prosecution decided not to make the arrests part of their case-in-chief but they may be used in any bid to see Chauvin handed down a higher sentence then allowed by sentencing guidelines if convicted.

A second ground on which the prosecution could also ask for this applies to 'crimes committed in front of children'. The state called nine-year-old Judeah as a witness possibly with this in mind.

According to the Minnesota sentencing guidelines, the presumptive sentence for a person such as Chauvin with no criminal history is the same for murder in the third and unintentional murder in the second; 12 and a half years. But the judge has discretion to sentence anywhere between ten years and eight months to 15 years.

If the judge rules that aggravating factors are present and departs from the guidelines, the maximum sentence would be 40 years for second-degree murder, 25 years for third-degree murder and 10 years for second-degree manslaughter.

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