A third-degree murder charge against Derek Chauvin — the ex-Minneapolis cop charged in the death of George Floyd — was reinstated on Thursday.
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill restored the charge after initially dismissing it in October, ruling at the time that it did not apply to the case, Fox 9 reported.
But an appeals court reversed Cahill’s decision to toss the lesser murder rap last week, sending the case back to the jurist for reconsideration — and delaying the start of jury selection in the closely-watched case.
Chauvin will now face trial on third-degree murder, second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges over Floyd’s police-involved death in May.
Chauvin’s defense team appealed the higher court’s ruling but their motion was denied by the Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday, Fox 9 reported.
Third-degree murder in Minnesota, one of the few states to carry the lesser charge, is defined as causing “the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life” and without intent to kill.
Jury selection is ongoing, and five jurors have been seated so far. Opening statements are expected to begin March 29.