A former Memphis police officer changed his plea to guilty Thursday in the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols, becoming the first of five officers charged to reverse course.
Desmond Mills Jr. entered his plea during a hearing at the Memphis federal courthouse as part of a larger agreement to settle charges in state court as well. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the four other officers would follow suit. Their attorneys declined to comment on Mills’ guilty plea.
Mills pleaded guilty to federal charges of excessive force and obstruction of justice and agreed to plead guilty to related state charges. Mills also agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, who are recommending a 15-year sentence. The final sentencing decision rests with the judge. Sentencing is scheduled for May 22.