Thomas Lane, who’s currently serving a 2.5-year sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights during the fatal restraint, appeared at his sentencing hearing remotely.
Earl Gray, Lane’s defense attorney said his client agreed to plead guilty to the state charge because “he faced a mandatory 12-year sentence if he were to be convicted of the most serious murder charge.” He also stated that Minnesota law allows defendants to become eligible for early release after serving two-thirds of a sentence.
“My client did not want to risk losing the murder case so he decided to plead guilty to manslaughter with a 3-year sentence, to be released in 2 years, and the murder case dismissed,” Gray said. “The sentence will be concurrent with his federal sentence and he will serve his time in a federal institution. He has a newborn baby and did not want to risk not being part of the child’s life.”
The sentence comes after former officers Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng were sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for their role in Floyd’s death in July 2022.
Also in July, Derek Chauvin, who was captured on camera with his knee on Floyd's neck and back, was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison