MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Another long and painful trial over the killing of George Floyd has been averted after one former Minneapolis police officer pleaded guilty and another agreed to let a judge decide his fate.

J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao were set to stand trial Monday on charges of aiding and abetting both murder and manslaughter.

Instead, Kueng pleaded guilty to the manslaughter count.

Thao took a different approach – his attorneys and prosecutors will agree to the evidence on the manslaughter count and let a judge decide whether Thao is guilty.

If he’s convicted, the murder count will be dropped. Experts say the approach, called a stipulated evidence trial, is uncommon but makes sense in some legal situations.