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Ex-Minneapolis cop Noor resentenced to 57 months in prison

Bring Me The News
Bring Me The News
 2021-10-21
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Updated:

Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor was resentenced Thursday after the Minnesota Supreme Court overturned his third-degree murder conviction in the death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.

Judge Kathryn Quaintance, who presided over Noor's trial in 2019 when he was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Ruszczyk Damond's July 15, 2017, death, sentenced 36-year-old Noor to 57 months.

He'll receive credit for 908 days he's been in custody.

Quaintance sentenced Noor to the high end of the presumptive sentence, which was between 41-57 months. She said this harsher sentence was justified because he endangered his partner, a bicyclist and other residents in the area when he shot Ruszczyk Damond out of his squad car window.

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Justine Ruszczyk Damond Justine Damond, Facebook

Prosecutors asked for 57 months because this case is more serious and unique compared to other manslaughter cases and was Noor was a serving police officer. He "wore the badge" prosecutor Amy Sweasy said, adding that he broke the social contract and shot his gun in the "misguided belief of his own defense."

While Noor's attorney Thomas Plunkett sought 41 months, asking the judge to consider who Noor was and not his actions that night. He compared Noor to Ruszczyk Damond and said he became a police officer because he wanted to give back to his family and the community. Plunkett also cited Noor's exemplary behavior in prison.

Prior to the sentencing, family members provided victim impact statements. Ruszczyk Damond's fiancé Don Damond gave his via Zoom. He said she would have forgiven Noor for his "inability to manage your emotions that night." Damond said he has chosen to forgive Noor too.

Noor spoke briefly during the hearing. He said he's "grateful" for Damond's forgiveness and apologized for the pain he caused the family.

Noor, 36, in 2019 was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Ruszczyk Damond on July 15, 2017, marking the first time in state history that a police officer was convicted of murder in connection with an on-duty incident.

He was given 12 1/2 years in prison, a sentence based solely on the third-degree murder charge — a crime that involves acting with a "depraved mind, without regard for human life."

But Noor appealed the murder conviction. The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the conviction and Noor appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Last month, the state Supreme Court tossed out Noor's murder conviction and his sentence because the statute doesn't fit the case. The court sent the case back to the district court, saying Noor must be resentenced only on the second-degree manslaughter conviction.

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