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State trial of 3 officers charged in George Floyd killing postponed

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill issued an order Wednesday morning, Jan. 12, granting a request by defense attorneys and prosecutors to move the trial but did not set a new date.

Lane Kueng Thao mugshots
Former Minneapolis police officers Thomas Lane, left, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao.
Hennepin County Sheriff's Office / TNS

MINNEAPOLIS — The state trial of three former Minneapolis police officers charged in the killing of George Floyd will be postponed from its previous March date.

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill, who is presiding over the trial, issued an order Wednesday morning, Jan. 12, granting a request by defense attorneys and prosecutors to move the trial but did not set a new date.

Cahill ordered the defendants' attorneys to meet before Jan. 15 to select a new trial date between March 14, 2022 and Jan. 9, 2023.

The three were scheduled to stand trial March 7 on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter. Their attorneys filed a motion last week to postpone the state trial because the defendants are due in federal court on Jan. 20 for a trial on charges that they violated Floyd's civil rights during a May 25, 2020 arrest that led to his death.

Cahill said attorneys should set aside three weeks for jury selection and five weeks for testimony in the state trial.

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If attorneys cannot agree on a new date by Jan. 16, Cahill said, the state trial will commence on March 7 as scheduled. If the federal trial has not concluded by then, the state trial will be continued on a daily basis until the attorneys are available, the judge added.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted in state court last year for murdering Floyd and later pleaded guilty in federal court to violating his civil rights. He knelt on Floyd's neck for about nine minutes. Chauvin is serving 22 1⁄2 years in prison in the state case and has yet to be sentenced in the federal case.

©2022 StarTribune. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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