Former Mexican Mafia Gang Member Charged With Stabbing Derek Chauvin 22 Times

A former gang member serving time for racketeering and plotting to kill a gang rival has been charged with attempted murder in the stabbing of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in an Arizona federal prison last week.

John Turscak, 52, stabbed Chauvin 22 times and told investigators he would have killed Chauvin, convicted of murdering George Floyd in 2020, had correctional officers not responded when they did.

Later, however, Turscak said he hadn’t intended to kill Chauvin, according to the Associated Press.

Turscak used “an improvised knife” in the attack at the Federal Correctional Institute in Tucson on November 24, according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona, which identified Chauvin, 47, as “D.C.”

Chauvin was assaulted at about 12:30 p.m. on Friday, as CrimeOnline reported. Prison staff performed “life-saving measures,” and Chauvin was hospitalized.

Chauvin is serving a 22.5-year sentence for second-degree murder in connection with Floyd’s death, in addition to a 21-year sentence for federal civil rights violations. He was captured on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes while Floyd desperately pleaded that he couldn’t breathe.

According to the AP, Turscak, who is white, told FBI agents that he had been considering attacking Chauvin for about a month and that he chose Black Friday for the nominal connection to the Black Lives Movement and the “Black Hand” symbol associated with the Mexican Mafia, a faction of which Turscak led in Los Angeles in the 1990s until he turned FBI informant with the hope of getting a more lenient sentence.

The FBI dropped Turscak as an informant, however, because he never stopped any of his illegal activities, including drug dealing, extortion, and authorizing attacks on rivals.

In addition to the attempted murder charge, Turscak also faces charges of assault with intent to commit murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, and assault resulting in serious bodily injury. The attempted murder and assault with intent to murder charges are punishable by up to 20 years in prison each, the US Attorney’s Office said. Turscak’s current sentence ends in 2026, according to federal prison records.

Chauvin is said to be in stable condition.

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