MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A new report says the federal government stopped a plea deal that would have avoided a trial for ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

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Derek Chauvin (credit: Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

The New York Times reports that just days after George Floyd died last spring, Chauvin agreed to plead guilty to third-degree murder. He was also willing to spend more than 10 years in prison.

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But the Times reports former U.S. Attorney General William Barr stopped the deal at the last minute, because he was worried it would seem too lenient. Now, the state is preparing for Chauvin’s murder trial, which is scheduled to begin on March 8.