The prison inmate who allegedly stabbed Derek Chauvin 22 times is being charged with attempted murder, federal prosecutors announced on Friday (Dec. 1).
John Turscak, a former gang member and one-time FBI informant, allegedly stabbed Chauvin, the ex-police officer convicted of George Floyd's murder, in the law library at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson, Ariz on Nov. 24.
Turscak used an improvised knife in the assault and reportedly informed corrections officers that he would have succeeded in killing Chauvin had they not intervened, according to prosecutors. Chauvin's family was initially kept in the dark about the details of the attack, with prison officials stating only that Chauvin was in critical but stable condition.
The inmate was supposed to complete his current sentence by 2026 but now faces multiple charges, including assault with intent to commit murder, assault with a dangerous weapon and assault resulting in serious bodily injury. Each of the attempted murder and assault with intent to commit murder charges carries a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
In the late 1990s, Turscak led a faction of the Mexican Mafia in Los Angeles. He became an FBI informant but was dropped when he continued engaging in criminal activities, according to court records cited by the Associated Press.
Turscak cited a connection to the Black Lives Matter movement – which saw a global rise in popularity following Floyd’s death – and the "Black Hand" symbol associated with the Mexican Mafia gang as the reasons behind his choice of date for the attack.
Chauvin is serving a sentence of more than 22 years in the Tucson prison. He was given a 20-year sentence for a separate federal charge related to violating Floyd's civil rights.
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