Former Minneapolis Police officers Tou Thao and Alexander Kueng will stand trial on October 24 on state charges in the killing of George Floyd.
Reuters reports that both rejected a plea deal that would reduce their sentence to three years in prison.
By going to trial, they now face maximum sentences of 12 1/2 years on the murder count and 4 years on the manslaughter count, according to CBS News.
“It would be lying for me to accept any plea offer,” said Thou.
Both he and Kueng along with a third officer are accused of standing by and doing nothing while another officer Derek Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd’s neck and killed him.
Another ex-officer, Thomas Lane, had already accepted a similar plea deal.
Thou and Kueng have already been sentenced to 3 1/2 years and 3 years in prison on federal charges. Lane received a sentence of 2 1/2 years. If Thou and Kueng had accepted the plea deal, they would have been allowed to serve both the federal and state sentences concurrently. They now risk serving a much longer prison term.
“The State is ready for trial,” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a statement.
Chauvin has already been sentenced to 22 1/2 years on the state charge and 21 years on the federal charges.
“It’s a standard best practice to make a record in court when the State offers a plea agreement, in order to ensure the defendant’s decision is freely and knowingly made,” Ellison said. “The defendants have a right to decline the offer and proceed to trial.
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