Former Minneapolis Police Officer Thomas Lane pleaded guilty Wednesday to a state charge of aiding and abetting manslaughter in connection with George Floyd’s death.
Lane entered the guilty plea during a court hearing as part of a plea agreement, reports WCCO. Under the agreement, he agreed to serve three years in prison, with the recommendation being for federal prison, not state.
His defense attorney, Earl Gray, released a statement saying if Lane had been convicted the mandatory sentence for unintentional murder would be 12 years.
“My client did not want to risk losing the murder case so he decided to plead guilty to manslaughter with a three year sentence, to be released in two years, and the murder case dismissed. The sentence will be concurrent with his federal sentence and he will serve his time in a federal institution,” Gray’s statement says.
According to court documents, Lane admitted he “agrees that the restraint of Mr. Floyd was unreasonable under the circumstances and constituted an unlawful use of force that is not authorized by Minnesota law.”
Attorney General Keith Ellison commented on the plea deal on Twitter.
“His acknowledgment he did something wrong is an important step toward healing the wounds of the Floyd family, our community & the nation. While accountability is not justice, this is a significant moment in this case & a necessary resolution on our continued journey to justice,” Ellison says in that statement.