One of the former Memphis police officers accused at the federal and state levels in relation to the beating and death of Tyre Nichols will alter his plea in federal court after pleading not guilty in September, according to a recent court filing.
An indictment against Desmond Mills Jr. and four other officers was released on September 12. They are accused of using excessive force, being deliberately indifferent, conspiring to tamper with witnesses, and obstructing justice.
His murder and footage of the assault provoked indignation around the country, with non-violent rallies and vigils organized in locations including New York, Los Angeles, and Springfield, Missouri.
Mills, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin, and Justin Smith, all ex-police officers, might get life sentences if they're found guilty.
U.S. Attorney David Pritchard said the case met the criteria for the capital penalty but that prosecutors decided against seeking execution. The federal government does not offer a parole program.
Federal and state defense counsel Blake Ballin said Wednesday he had no comment on Mills' planned plea change but did confirm that a new plea will be entered on Thursday.
A hearing for the plea bargain, the details of which have not been made public, is set for Thursday morning at 10 a.m.