After a two-week-long trial and almost 27 hours of deliberations by the jury, former Minnesota officer Kim Potter was found guilty of first- and second-degree manslaughter charges in the death of Daunte Wright as per USA Today. Potter, 49, fatally shot 20-year-old Wright during an April traffic stop-turned-arrest in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center.
Various testimonies included Sgt. Mike Peterson saying he had never heard an officer mistake a gun for a taser before. Also, Special agent Sam McGinnis of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension noted the differences between the gun and taser. Potter herself took to the witness stand and described the “chaotic” scene. The jury was made up of mostly all white people, but that didn’t matter, justice was served for the life of Daunte Wright.
The maximum penalty for first-degree manslaughter predicated on reckless use handling of a firearm is 15 years in prison and/or a $30,000 fine. However, since Potter has no criminal history, Minnesota sentencing guidelines recommend a sentence roughly between six and 8.5 years in prison. Prosecutors have noted they would be seeking a longer-term.
According to CNN, Judge Regina Chu denied Kim Potter’s defense attorney request to go home before sentencing:
Gray told the judge that Potter is a devout Catholic, arguing:
“She has deep roots in the community, and her family’s here, and there’s no evidence that she would flee. So, we respectfully ask you to change your mind as to whether she needs to be incarcerated right now.”
Judge Chu denied the request.
“I am going to require that she be taken into custody and held without bail... I cannot treat this case any differently than any other case,” she said.
Judge Chu also praised the 12-jury members after for their commitment:
“You said ‘yes’ even though we are in a pandemic with Omicron spreading in our community. You said ‘yes’ even though you had concerns about serving, given the nature of the case. You said ‘yes’ even though you knew you would be sequestered during deliberations and away from your loved ones. And you said ‘yes’ even though there was a chance that this case could have lasted past Christmas. You were willing to sacrifice much because you believed in our justice system,” Chu said.
Kim Potter’s sentencing date is scheduled for Feb. 18, 2022, at 10 a.m. ET.