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Appeals court dismisses state request to delay Derek Chauvin trial

The former Minneapolis officer is scheduled to go to trial on March 8 in the death of George Floyd.

ST PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has dismissed a prosecution request to delay the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, and rejoin the cases with three other defendants.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's May 2020 death. Former officers J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane are each charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

On Jan. 11, Judge Peter Cahill ordered Chauvin to stand trial in March, while the other former officers will go to trial in late summer. 

In its ruling issued Friday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals said the state had "not established a basis for our review of the district court's pretrial orders."

"We conclude that the state has not shown that proceeding with respondent Chauvin’s trial in March 2021 would 'significantly reduce' or 'seriously jeopardize' the likelihood of a successful prosecution of any of the defendants," the court wrote in its ruling.

In a separate ruling in the case on Thursday, Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill denied a prosecution request to reinstate a third-degree murder charge against Chauvin. Judge Cahill previously dismissed that charge for lack of probable cause. Minnesota case law has historically regarded third-degree murder as a "death-causing act" that cannot be directed at a single person. 

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