A judge ruled on Thursday that the trial of the three former Minneapolis cops charged in aiding and abetting the murder of George Floyd would be postponed until March of next year.
According to NBC News, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao were originally scheduled to stand trial in August. All three men, along with co-defendant Derek Chauvin, were indicted on federal civil rights charges last week. Judge Peter Cahill said he changed the date so that the federal case could go first, but also so that there would be ample time between Chauvin’s trial and the other three officers’. The three men have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, as well as aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
In April, Chauvin was found guilty of murdering Floyd after a nearly month-long trial. Floyd died when an arrest over a counterfeit bill last year ended with him being handcuffed and placed on the ground with Chauvin’s knee on his neck and back for over nine minutes.
In addition to postponing the trial, ABC News reports that the pre-trial hearing also had the defense request that state prosecutors be sanctioned for a leak to the media in February that revealed Chauvin initially planned to accept a plea deal before the option was nixed by then-Attorney General William Barr.
Thao’s attorney Bob Paule accused state prosecutors of being responsible for the leaks and said that anyone found responsible should be barred from the trial, a notion that was co-signed Kueng’s attorney Tom Plunkett. State prosecutors called the allegations “bizarre” in a court filing and added that the prosecution will file a full response to allegations.
Cahill said he believed that the leak came from the Department of Justice and not state prosecutors, though he did request the prosecution provide sworn affidavits as well as proof they weren’t responsible for the leaks. A hearing regarding the allegations will take place in August.