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Derek Chauvin murder trial

Judge reinstates 3rd-degree murder charge against Derek Chauvin

A third-degree murder charge against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been reinstated days after jury selection in his trial got underway.

Chauvin, the former police officer on trial over the killing of George Floyd, was already facing charges of second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, and on Thursday, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill reinstated a third-degree murder charge at prosecutors' request, The Associated Press reports.

This third-degree murder charge against Chauvin, who kneeled on Floyd's neck for about nine minutes while he said he couldn't breathe, had previously been dismissed. But an appeals court recently ordered the judge to reconsider this decision, NPR reports. On Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court rejected Chauvin's appeal looking to prevent the third-degree murder charge from being added.

Jury selection in Chauvin's trial was originally set to start on Monday, but it was briefly delayed amid questions over this looming potential charge. Selection ultimately started on Tuesday, and five jurors have now been seated. According to NBC News, even with the addition of this new charge, opening statements in the trial are still likely to start on March 29.