The ex-Minneapolis police officer who held off concerned bystanders as George Floyd died under the knee of Derek Chauvin was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison on Monday.

More than three years after Floyd's murder ignited a global movement, Tou Thao appeared in Hennepin County District Court to bring the last remaining criminal case to closure. His was the final case prosecuted in state court among the four officers who had roles in Floyd's killing at 38th Street and S. Chicago Avenue on May 25, 2020.

"George Floyd's last words were heard across the world, but more importantly they were heard by Tou Thao and we cannot forget them now three years later," said prosecutor Erin Eldridge.

Thao, 37, like in previous court appearances, used his opportunity to speak to "preach," as the judge put it, for 23 minutes. At the onset of his religious declarations, he told those in the courtroom who brought along their Bibles to take them out. No one did so. He went on to cite passages and preach of repentance, fear of God and forgiveness, but did not apologize.

"Hold onto the truth that I did not commit these crimes, my conscience is clear."

He said he didn't intend on hurting anyone that day. "I did the best I thought I could. Obviously the outcome didn't come out the way I wanted it. I'll leave it at that.

"Today if you feel the love of God pulling at your heart … let it be your day of salvation. Do not harden your heart in rebellion, for God desired mercy and relationship with you," he said.

He then directed his comments to District Judge Peter Cahill, asking if the judge was a brother in Christ, and apologized if he offended Cahill when he refused to take a plea, saying at the time that "it would be a lie and a sin for me to accept a plea deal."

Cahill interjected that no offense was taken. Thao closed with saying that he is praying for everyone in the room, including Cahill, and that if anyone needs him for prayer, "you know where to find me."

"Thank you, judge," he said. "God bless you."

"After three years of reflection," Cahill said, "I was hoping for a little more remorse, regret, acknowledgment of some responsibility and less preaching."

Cahill said he's not rehashing the facts of the case. "Suffice it to say that I think your culpability is less than Mr. Chauvin, but well above Mr. [Alexander] Kueng and Mr. [Thomas] Lane as an experienced senior officer who was in the best position to save George Floyd."

He gave Thao the top of the sentencing guideline, above what prosecutors were requesting. Eldridge asked for a sentence of a little more than 4 years, while Thao's attorney Robert Paule asked Cahill for 10 months less than that.

"The death of Mr. Floyd is a tragedy," Paule said, adding that the court is a place of justice, not retribution. He said Thao went out that day with the "purest intentions."

"My client is a good and decent man with a family."

Several members of Thao's family sat silently in the front rows of the courtroom.

Paule said that Thao plans to appeal the state conviction as well as the federal appellate decision. On Friday, his federal conviction was upheld by judges who rejected his arguments that he was less culpable than the other officers because he didn't know of Floyd's worsening state.

Eldridge said that Thao underwent more than 1,000 hours of training and had eight years of experience as a Minneapolis police officer. She said that children, teenagers and an off-duty firefighter could tell Floyd needed help. But Thao used his position of authority to prevent anyone from intervening, she said.

"He went so far as to mock George Floyd's condition, telling bystanders 'this is why you don't do drugs, kids,'" the prosecutor said. She said Thao treated the kids like "hostile adversaries in a war zone" and acted as if Floyd's life was disposable.

Thao and the other officers were found guilty of violating Floyd's civil rights in a federal jury trial and are serving sentences ranging from 2½ to 3½ years.

Lane received three years after pleading guilty last May to aiding and abetting manslaughter. Kueng pleaded guilty in December and sentenced to 312 years.

Thao waived his right to a jury trial in an 11th-hour resolution, leaving the verdict to Cahill. In May, he was found guilty, with a presumed sentence ranging from three to five years.

He has credit for having served about a year in prison and will serve his state sentence concurrently with his 3½ year federal sentence.

Thao's state sentence will add an extra 70 days to his incarceration, according to the Minnesota Attorney General's Office.

At his federal sentencing, Thao also heavily quoted scripture in a 23-minute statement that spoke of retribution, corruption and a legal process that caused him "great distress."

Before Thao became a Minneapolis police officer in 2012, he worked as a supervisor in a fast-food restaurant and security guard for a medical device manufacturer.

As a rookie, he was cited by his training officer eight times for being dishonest or taking shortcuts. Over the years, he had six police conduct complaints filed against him.

He and another officer were accused of punching, kicking and kneeing an unarmed Black man in handcuffs in 2014. The encounter occurred a few blocks from what would be the site of Floyd's murder. The city settled the case for $25,000.