Ex-Minneapolis cop gets lighter sentence after murder conviction tossed

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Ex-Minneapolis cop gets lighter sentence after murder conviction tossed

A former Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot an unarmed woman who called 911 to report a possible crime was re-sentenced to nearly five years in prison Thursday after the state’s highest court overturned his murder conviction last month.

Mohamed Noor was initially sentenced to 12.5 years in the 2017 fatal shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a 40-year-old bride-to-be who was concerned about a possible rape in progress behind her home.

But last month the Minnesota Supreme Court vacated Noor’s murder conviction and sentence, claiming that he shouldn’t have been charged with third-degree murder since it’s only applied when a defendant shows a “generalized indifference to human life.”

Former officer Mohamed Noor makes his way to the podium to address Judge Kathryn Quaintance at the Hennepin County Government Center, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021
Former officer Mohamed Noor makes his way to the podium to address Judge Kathryn Quaintance at the Hennepin County Government Center, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021.
Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP, Pool
Justine Damond, also known as Justine Ruszczyk, from Sydney, is seen in this 2015 photo released by Stephen Govel Photography in New York, U.S., on July 17, 2017.
Mohamed Noor fatally shot Justine Ruszczyk Damond, who called 911 to report a possible rape.
Stephen Govel Photography/Handout via REUTERS

The court ordered that he instead be sentenced for second-degree manslaughter, a lesser charge.

Noor on Thursday received the maximum range for a sentence under state guidelines, which call for 41 to 57 months for someone with no prior record.

Judge Kathryn Quaintance told the former police officer that she couldn’t justify granting a reduced sentence, despite his attorneys pushing for him to only receive 41 months.

Former officer Mohamed Noor, with his attorneys Peter Wold, left, and Tom Plunkett, right, addressed Judge Kathryn Quaintance at the Hennepin County Government Center, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 in Minneapolis
Former officer Mohamed Noor was sentenced Thursday to nearly five years in prison.
Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP, Pool
Mohamed Noor
Mohamed Noor has already served more than 29 months.
City of Minneapolis via AP, File

“Mr. Noor, I am not surprised that you have been a model prisoner,” Quaintance said. “However, I do not know any authority that would make that grounds for reducing your sentence.”

Noor, who was axed from the department after he was charged, has already served more than 29 months.

He could be granted supervised release for good behavior by next summer, and the state prison website currently lists his anticipated release date as June 27. 

With Post wires

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