Court Overturns Ex-Minneapolis Cop Mohamed Noor's Murder Conviction in 2017 Shooting Death of Justine Ruszczyk
The Minnesota Supreme Court made their decision Wednesday in a case that made international headlines.
A former Minneapolis cop who killed a woman in 2017 when she had called 911 for help at her home saw his third-degree murder conviction thrown out by the Minnesota Supreme Court Wednesday, The New York Times reported.
Mohamed Noor, 33, who is currently serving a 12-and-a-half-year prison sentence for killing Justine Ruszczyk, 40, on July 15, 2017, will be resentenced to second-degree manslaughter, the Times reported.
The Minnesota Supreme Court said there was insufficient evidence to uphold his murder conviction and ordered that he be sentenced on the grounds of a second-degree manslaughter conviction, CNN reported.
The former cop is now looking at a sentence that carriers a duration of 41 months to 57 months, a Hennepin County Attorney’s Office spokeswoman said, according to NBC News.
Following the news of a lesser sentence, Noor will be eligible for release after doing two-thirds of his time, taking into account his original April 2019 conviction of third-degree murder and manslaughter. He could be a free man later this year, according to NBC News.
"I talked to Mo this morning. It's relief, great relief," Noor’s appellate lawyer Peter Wood told NBC News. "He has a young son and it's time they get back together."
In a statement to CNN, Noor's lawyers and his family said, "We have always maintained that this was a tragic case, and we are grateful for an exceptionally well-reasoned and unanimous opinion from this State's highest court."
Ruszczyk, who had moved to Minneapolis from Australia to live with her fiancé, Don Damond, called 911 to report a possible assault in progress in an alley behind her Minneapolis home.
During trial, Noor said that he feared for his partner’s life as Ruszczyk appeared from the alley and approached their squad car. Prosecutors argued that Noor overreacted when he shot her in the stomach.
Cops were never able to conclude if there had been an assault in the alley, NBC News reported.
Damond said in a statement obtained by CNN that the decision to overturn Noor’s sentence "has felt like a double blow against justice.”
"My hope and work since Justine's death has been to try to prevent a further loss of life at the hands of stressed and inadequately trained police officers,” he said. “The Minneapolis Police Department has not made any meaningful progress towards transformation. And now Noor is not being held accountable for killing my (fiancée) ... It truly feels like there has been no justice for Justine."
The city of Minneapolis agreed to a $20 million settlement with Ruszczyk’s family.
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