Kim Potter sentencing: What will the referee be?

MINNEAPOLIS — The former Minneapolis suburban police officer who said she mistook her pistol for a Taser when killing Daunte Wright will be sentenced in February after a grand jury convicted her Thursday of two counts of manslaughter.

The most serious charge against Kim Potter – first degree manslaughter – carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. Here’s how her sentencing might play out:


After approximately 27 hours of deliberation over four days, the jury found Potter guilty of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree manslaughter in the April 11 murder of Wright, a black driver. In first-degree murder, prosecutors must prove Potter caused Wright’s death while recklessly handling a firearm in a manner that could reasonably be expected death or major bodily harm to anyone.

The second-degree manslaughter charge requires prosecutors to prove Potter caused her death “due to her reprehensible negligence”, which means that Potter “was an unreasonable risk and consciousness causing death or major bodily harm” to Wright.


Under Minnesota law, Potter, who is white, would only be convicted of the most serious charge of first-degree manslaughter. That’s because both charges against her stem from one act, with one victim.

The maximum term for that fee is 15 years. But state sentencing guidelines call for much less. For someone with no criminal history, like Potter, the guidelines range from just over six years to about eight and a half years, with a presumptive sentence of a little over seven years.

Prosecutors said they would seek a sentence beyond the guidelines, while the defense said they would get no jail time. For Judge Regina Chu to issue a sentence that falls outside the scope of the guidelines, she will first have to find out the mitigating or aggravating factors. Both sides are expected to submit written arguments.

Likely Aging Factors

Prosecutors say that aggravating factors in Potter’s case included that she posed a greater-than-usual danger to the safety of others when she jumped into the vehicle, including danger for her co-workers, for Wright’s passengers, and for the couple whose car Wright crashed after the shoot. They also accused her of abusing her authority as a police officer.

Prosecutors also said that Potter abused her powers as a police officer.

Likely Modifiers

Defense attorney Paul Engh said the defense would seek a “conditional departure” from sentencing instructions.

According to state statues, extenuated preference departure occurs when the guidelines recommend a prison sentence, but a judge allows the sentence to “stay” – meaning the defendant does not go. prison. Instead, the defendant is placed on probation, under home supervision, or possibly sent to a local prison, said Marsh Halberg, a Minneapolis attorney who was not involved in the case. A defendant will be sent to prison if the conditions set forth by the court are violated.

In arguing that Potter should be released on bail until she is convicted, Engh said: “She can accept a suspended sentence. She is very remorseful and remorseful about the incident. She is not She’s a danger to the public. She’s gone to court all.” Zhou remained motionless, and Potter was arrested after the sentence was read.

Halberg said the defense had a lot of work to do, because Potter had no previous record and was very remorseful. The defense could also make the argument that as a cop, Potter’s detention would likely be harsher than most because of the need to keep her safe. Former Minneapolis police officer convicted in the death of George Floyd, Derek Chauvin, has been placed in solitary confinement for that reason.


Minnesota sentencing guidelines were created to establish consistent sentencings that do not consider factors such as race or gender.

When determining a final sentence, Chu will consider the arguments of both sides, as well as claims of victim impact. She also ordered an investigation before convicting Potter. And Potter could make a statement at her sentencing hearing – a time when judges typically consider whether a person is responsible for a crime or shows remorse.

Halberg said it was unlikely that Chu would rate Potter below the guidelines, saying: “We live in such a politicized environment for decisions.” He predicts Chu will surpass what the guidelines suggest, or put her in the top range.

“If you’re in range until reasonable sentences, it’s a pretty hard thing to argue about on appeal,” he said.

HOW long will the hot pot serve?

Regardless of which sentence Potter received, in Minnesota it was assumed that defendants with good behavior would serve two-thirds of their sentences in prison and the remainder were released under supervised release, commonly known as parole. .

That means that if Potter were given a presumptive seven-year sentence, she would likely serve about four years and nine months behind bars, with the rest being released on supervised release. After her supervised release, she could be sent back to prison if she violated his pardon conditions. If she has a maximum of 15 years, she can sit behind bars for 10 years before being pardoned.

Potter was sent to the state women’s prison in Shakopee after the jury returned its verdict. Nicholas Kimball, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections, said that in some cases, especially those with a higher background, people are transferred directly to state prison as they await sentencing.

The same goes for Chauvin. He went directly to the state’s maximum security prison to await sentencing for murder. He was eventually sentenced to 22 and a half years – more than is required – after a judge found aggravating factors in Floyd’s death.


Source link


News7h: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button