MINNEAPOLIS — A judge has granted prosecutors’ request to add a third-degree murder charge against the former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death.
Judge Peter Cahill on Thursday added the charge after the former officer, Derek Chauvin, failed to get appellate courts to block it.
Cahill had earlier rejected the charge as not warranted by the circumstances of Floyd’s death, but an appellate court ruling in an unrelated case established new grounds for it.
Chauvin already faced second-degree murder and manslaughter charges. Legal experts say the additional charge helps prosecutors by giving jurors one more option to convict Chauvin.
Potential jurors in Chauvin’s trial return Thursday to continue the selection process that started this week. The last-minute legal battle delayed jury selection Monday.
Meanwhile, in court, five jurors were selected in the first two days of jury selection for the trial. Another nine are needed, to allow for two alternates.
Dozens of potential jurors have been dismissed so far, including some who said they would not be able to set aside their views about the case and their strong feelings about Floyd's death.
Potential jurors are being asked if they have seen the video of Floyd or any images from it, and what their feelings are about the situation.
Of the five selected at this time, three are white men, there is one Black man and one woman who is described as a person of color. Their identity is being protected during the case.