Former cop may plead guilty to civil rights violations for Emmett Till killing

Carrie Varese/Special to CNN

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – Former Atlanta police officer Randall “Fo’Sha” Chauvin is expected to plead guilty to civil rights violations in connection with the death of former football star Emmett Till, CNN has learned.

The 54-year-old officer, now a reserve officer with the DeKalb County Police Department, is expected to enter the plea in federal court next week. The plea agreement, which has not yet been approved by a judge, would require Chauvin to plead guilty to an enhanced federal civil rights charge for violating Till’s civil rights during a kidnapping and assault in 1955, according to sources familiar with the case.

A Georgia judge on Wednesday dismissed one of the state charges against Chauvin, acquitting him of the murder of Till.

Chauvin also faces a kidnapping charge connected to the same incident, and the two counts related to the separate kidnapping of two other black men also in the case. State prosecutors have until December 1 to decide whether to retry him on that charge, which carries a potential life sentence.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Atlanta is handling the federal case.

In the federal civil rights case, the evidence will be that Chauvin kidnapped two black men from their home at gunpoint, assaulted one and threatened to kill the other, according to the sources. Federal investigators are looking at the 1965 murder in a Mississippi field of 14-year-old Till, who was lynched and beaten for allegedly whistling at a white woman.

In the state case, former DeKalb County police officer Joe Glynn, 63, and Michael Devlin, 59, were convicted and sentenced to death by a Mississippi jury in 2007 for the murder and other offenses. The pair went to trial in May after spending nearly a decade in jail awaiting the outcome of a court challenge to Glynn’s trial instructions.

Glynn was sentenced to 15 years and Devlin was sentenced to three life terms. U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash sentenced them to die for murder, kidnapping and two counts of robbery.

While in jail awaiting a retrial, Glynn accused officers of torture when he was interrogated by a grand jury, according to the trial judge.

Glynn was found guilty of making false statements and aiding and abetting false statements to a grand jury. Devlin was acquitted of all charges and released from custody.

Glynn’s appeal to the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals resulted in an August 2017 ruling by the court that rejected Glynn’s claims against investigators, prosecutors and prison officials. The case was dismissed, and Glynn has not been allowed to re-challenge the findings.

In a separate federal lawsuit filed in 2005, Glynn accused the state’s attorney general’s office of framing him.

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