A former Minneapolis police officer faces the possibility of stiff prison time when he is sentenced on Friday for the fatal shooting of an Australian woman nearly two years ago after she had called police to report a possible sexual assault.
In April, Mohamed Noor, 33, was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for killing 40-year-old Justine Ruszczyk Damond outside her home near Minneapolis.
Australia’s then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called the incident “shocking.”
After the jury verdict, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said he expected Noor to face 12-1/2 years in prison for the murder charge and four years for the manslaughter charge.
Noor, who was acquitted of a more serious charge of second-degree intentional murder, has asked Minnesota District Judge Kathryn Quaintance to impose probation during which time he would report to a halfway house-type correctional facility each week on the anniversaries of Damond’s death and birth.
Citing Noor’s community service, his clean record and his cooperation with the investigation, Noor’s attorneys asked that he be sentenced to at most a year and a day.
“There is no benefit to Mr. Noor or the community that will come from a lengthy prison sentence,” Attorneys Thomas Plunkett and Peter Wold said in a memorandum submitted on Wednesday.
Noor – the first Minnesota police officer to be convicted of murder – and his partner drove to Damond’s home the night of July 15, 2017, to respond to a report she had made of a possible sexual assault. When Damond approached the patrol car, Noor fired through the car window, killing her.
Noor had testified that he shot her in self-defense after he and his partner heard a loud noise.
Minneapolis city officials last month agreed to pay $20 million to settle a civil suit brought by Damond’s family.