Derek Chauvin’s wife filed for divorce just days after the death of George Floyd under the care of a former police officer and three other Minneapolis Police Department officers.
Chauvin’s now ex-wife Kellie May Xiong Chauvin, 46, separated from her husband for the first time on May 28, 2020 – just three days after Mr Floyd died in police custody on May 25. Her then-husband Derek missed the deadline to file a response and a counter petition to challenge any of her proposals.
On May 30, 2020, she filed for divorce in the Washington County District Court in Stillwater, Minnesota.
A judge in Minnesota approved the couple’s motion for divorce on February 2, 2021 – months after the judge denied his motion to transfer most of his property to Ms. Chauvin. The judge wrote at the time that the transfer of most assets to one party could be a “sign of fraud”.
A jury found Chauvin guilty on all three counts on Tuesday. Chauvin was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs. He will remain in police custody until his hearing, scheduled for June.
Chauvin could face up to 75 years in prison if given the maximum sentence for all three cases.
Who is Kellie Chauvin?
Ms. Chauvin was born in Laos and was only three years old when her family fled the country to Thailand as a refugee in 1977. After a few years in a refugee camp, the family was able to emigrate to America, where they lived in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Ms. Chauvin experienced bullying as a child because she was less able to read and write English compared to her classmates.
“They say ‘land of the free’ but I still didn’t feel free,” Ms. Chauvin said earlier in an interview with the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. “We couldn’t speak English. My parents didn’t want us to leave the house because they didn’t trust the world. You end up in this brand new world and don’t know what to expect, so we were always kept inside.”
Because of her background as a Hmong woman, Ms. Chauvin’s parents found her husband before she turned 18. The couple had been married for 10 years and had two children before filing for divorce on alleged domestic abuse.
After the divorce, Ms. Chauvin moved to Minnesota and earned a degree in radiology. She accepted an internship at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis in her emergency room, which later became a full-time position.
At the hospital, Ms. Chauvin met her ex-husband, Derek, who discovered the woman when he was bringing someone in for a health check-up prior to being arrested. After Chauvin took the suspect to jail, he returned to the hospital to question Ms. Chauvin for a date Twin Cities Pioneer Press.
This was the same hospital where Mr Floyd was pronounced dead on May 25, 2020.
“He’s just a softie under all that uniform,” Ms. Chauvin said in 2018. “He’s such a gentleman. He still opens the door for me, still puts my coat on. After my divorce, I had a list with me Musts -hat if I should ever be in a relationship, and it suited everyone. “
Ms. Chauvin caught media attention after competing and winning Ms. Minnesota’s beauty pageant in 2018. This made her the first Hmong woman to hold the title.
The marriage and divorce of the chauvinist couple
The couple married in June 2010 and have no children together. They owned two properties together: a house in Oakdale, Minnesota; and a townhouse in Windermere, Florida.
Ms. Chauvin cited “an irreversible breakdown” in their marriage when she filed for divorce just five days after Mr Floyd’s death in May 2020.
In a public statement from her attorneys, Ms. Chauvin said, “Your deepest condolences are with us [Mr Floyd’s] Family. She went on to “respectfully demand that her children, elderly parents and extended family be given security and privacy during the divorce proceedings.”
Initially, the couple suggested transferring most of their property to Ms. Chauvin as part of the divorce. However, Washington District District Judge Juanita Freeman turned down the proposal because of possible fraud.
A settlement proposal filed in January 2021 would then award Ms. Chauvin the net income of the couple’s Minnesota home, which depreciated due to vandalism, and the title of their Florida home, which was also destroyed.
The couple also planned to split all the debts and amounts of money in their bank account, which would give Ms. Chauvin about $ 704,000 while her ex-husband would get about $ 420,000 Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
It was not publicly disclosed what final settlement was reached when the divorce was finalized in February 2021.