Former Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor was given a new 4-3 / 4-year sentence on Thursday for his manslaughter conviction after the state’s High Court overturned the more serious murder conviction for the murder in 2017 of an Australian who had called to report a possible crime.
Noor, who turned 36 on Wednesday, was convicted by Judge Kathryn Quaintance of second degree manslaughter because the Minnesota Supreme Court overturned his third degree murder conviction last month. The ruling overturned a 12-and-a-half-year prison sentence Noor was already serving the murder count for shooting Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
Quaintance said she wasn’t surprised Noor was a model prisoner, but he had shot his gun in his partner’s nose, endangering a cyclist and others in the neighborhood on a summer evening.
“These public endangering factors make your crime of manslaughter appropriate for a high sentence,” she said.
Noor has served 29 1/12 months since entering prison in May 2019. With credit for time served, Noor is expected to be released after serving 2/3 of his sentence, meaning he must serve 8 months. and a half extra. He should be released next May.
Hennepin County Assistant District Attorney Amy Sweasy read a statement from Maryan Heffernan, the victim’s mother, who was watching from Australia. The family was looking for the maximum for Noor. “We should expect full accountability from our public institutions and their staff,” the Heffernan statement said.
The longest sentence would send a message to the police “that we demand respect for their badges,” she said. “We will be outraged if the tribunal does not want to respect the will of the people and demand that justice be heard, seen and done. “
The victim’s husband, Don Damond, appeared online and took a different tact, saying the Supreme Court ruling: “Does not diminish the truth. The truth is, Justine should be alive. “
Damond said his comments should not be interpreted as being that he was not yet in mourning, but his deceased wife “has lived a life of love. She modeled a life of joy for all and she asked for forgiveness ”.
“Given his example, I want you to know that I forgive you,” Damond said. “All I ask is that you use this experience to do good for others. Be an example of how to transform yourself beyond adversity. Be an example of honesty and contrition. This is what Justine would like. “
Second degree manslaughter carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, but state sentencing guidelines recommend a sentence of between 3 1/3 and 4 3 / 4 years in prison for defendants without a criminal record, like Noor. The presumed duration is four years, according to the guidelines.
In his comments, Sweasy asked for the maximum, noting that this will be the only time that a police officer will be convicted of the offense. “In all respects … it’s worse than usual for a second degree manslaughter case,” Sweasy said, adding that Noor was wearing the Minneapolis Police Officer badge, a social contract that grants the privilege of using lethal force to protect other civilians.
Noor’s lawyer Thomas Plunkett said Noor was young and overreacted. “He was operating with the mistaken belief that he had to protect his partner,” Plunkett said, adding that Noor wanted to make the world a better place and chose a career as a policeman to bridge the gap between the police, the justice system and the community. Somali immigrants.
In prison, he was an award-winning inmate for his commitment and respect to others. Plunkett asked for a sentence at the lower end of the guidelines, 3 1/3 years. There is no doubt that Mr Noor’s prison sentence was “more punitive” than anyone could have imagined before the pandemic, Plunkett said.
In Noor’s brief comments, he said he was “deeply grateful” for Damond’s forgiveness and “deeply sorry” for the loss of the family. Of Damond, Noor said, “I will take his advice and be a unifier. “
Plunkett had asked the judge to credit Noor for the time he has already spent in jail and place him on probation, which usually requires regular check-ups with the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC), regular drug testing. drugs and alcohol and restrictions on certain activities. It can also include electronic home monitoring. Violations of these conditions may result in the return of an accused to prison.
Minnesota defendants must serve 2/3 of their prison sentences before they can be granted a supervised release.
Noor entered jail on May 2, 2019 and was first sentenced in June 2019. He initially served his sentence in administrative segregation at Oak Park Heights Prison in Minnesota, but was transferred on July 11, 2019. at a North Dakota facility for his own safety.
Jurors convicted Noor in April 2019 of third degree murder and second degree manslaughter after calling about a possible sexual assault in the back alley behind his house south of Minneapolis.
Noor’s attorneys appealed the murder count, which was upheld in February by the Minnesota Court of Appeals. They then asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to review that decision.
The High Court agreed with lawyers for Noor that due to the way the law is drafted, the count of murder cannot apply when an accused’s actions are directed against a particular person. The state Supreme Court overturned Noor’s conviction and sentence and returned his case to court for a new conviction.
Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708
Twitter : @ChaoStrib