Minneapolis, MN (KROC-AM News) - A federal judge today sentenced a Rochester man to 6 1/2 years in prison for an arson conviction stemming from the rioting that followed the death of George Floyd.
36-year-old José Angel Felan was also ordered to pay nearly $40,000 in restitution. Felan entered a guilty plea to a federal arson charge in February. He was accused of setting fire to a Goodwill retail store, the Gordon Parks High School, and the 7 Mile Sportswear store along University Avenue in St. Paul on the night of May 28, 2020.
Felan and his wife were apprehended in Mexico last February and were returned to the United States for prosecution. His wife, 24-year-old Mena Dhaya Yousif was accused of aiding and abetting her husband as he fled to Texas before crossing into Mexico. It was alleged she traveled with Felan and assisted his escape by destroying evidence and providing false information to law enforcement.
Yousif entered a guilty plea last September to a charge of being an accessory after the fact.
Timeline: George Floyd's Death, Protests, Riots, Arrests, and Chauvin Trial
It was late afternoon on Memorial Day, 2020 and many Minnesotans had observed the normally active weekend hunkered down because of the growing pandemic.
George Floyd drove to a grocery store in Minneapolis and bought some cigarettes. He was accused by employees of making the purchase with a counterfeit $20 bill and police were called. Floyd was still there in his vehicle when two officers arrived. About 10 minutes later, Chauvin and another officer showed up and the situation began to escalate. Chauvin began kneeling on Floyd's neck as he was facedown on the street. Despite repeated pleas from Floyd and a growing crowd of bystanders to remove his knee, Chauvin continued as if frozen in position with no facial expression.
After more than 8 minutes, Chauvin finally stood up and Floyd had become unresponsive. An ambulance was called and a short while later, it was reported Floyd was dead.
A video of the incident slowly spread on social media around the state, the country and the world. Viewers literally watched a man slowly die, repeating "I can't breathe."
The now historic response began the following day.