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Thomas Lane pleads guilty to 2nd degree manslaughter of George Floyd

by Mike Creef, Staff Writer
Thomas Lane pleads guilty to 2nd degree manslaughter of George Floyd
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Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane has pled guilty to a state charge of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in the murder of George Floyd.

Lane took a plea deal in his state trial for his role in the 2020 murder of George Floyd. Earlier this year Lane and the two other officers who were on the scene while Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes were all convicted in a federal trial for violating the rights of George Floyd.

Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao were all convicted in a federal trial for willfully violating George Floyd’s rights earlier this year.

Thomas Lane: Guilty Plea on State Charges

All three men were offered plea deals in April by prosecutors in the state trial for aiding and abetting the murder of George Floyd, but at the time rejected them.

The three former officers claimed it was hard for them to negotiate a deal when they still didn’t know what their federal sentences would be. 

The three men still have not been sentenced for their federal convictions, however Lane has taken a plea deal in his state trial.

The state is recommending a sentence for Thomas Lane of three years, which is below state sentencing guidelines, and has agreed to allow him to serve the time in a federal prison. As part of the deal, Lane will have a count of aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder dismissed.

Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose officer prosecuted the case for the state, said in a statement that he was pleased with Lane’s acceptance of the deal.

“His acknowledgment he did something wrong is an important step toward healing the wounds of the Floyd family, our community, and the nation,” Ellison said. “While accountability is not justice, this is a significant moment in this case and a necessary resolution on our continued journey to justice.”

Thomas Lane is scheduled to be sentenced in the state trial on September 21.

Kueng and Thao are scheduled to go to trial for their state charges in June.

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