May 20 (UPI) -- Three former Minneapolis police officers will appear in court Thursday to face a possible new charge related to the death of George Floyd nearly a year ago.
A three-judge appellate panel will conduct the hearing for former officers Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao. The three were with former officer Derek Chauvin during Floyd's arrest and death on May 25, 2020.
Prosecutors will argue that Lane, Kueng and Thao should face a charge of aiding and abetting third-degree murder for not intervening and rendering aid to Floyd. They already face charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Defense attorneys are expected to contend that aiding and abetting must be intentional and should not apply to the officers' actions.
Chauvin was convicted last month on charges of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He pressed his knee on the back of Floyd's neck for nearly 10 minutes during the arrest, which prosecutors and experts testified was a contributing factor in his death.
The former officers were scheduled to stand trial in August but a judge pushed the date back to next March. If convicted, each could serve more than 16 years in prison.
The appellate panel will have up to 90 days to decide whether to add the charge of aiding and abetting.