Last month, the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed Mohamed Noor’s conviction of third-degree depraved-mind murder in the death of Justine Ruszcyzk Damond in 2017. However, he was re-sentenced today.
According to CBS News, Noor was given 57 months in prison, which is the top end of the sentencing guidelines per Minnesota law. Due to time served, Noor will be eligible for supervised release on June 27, 2022.
On the evening of July 15, 2017, Rusczcyk called the police. She was reporting a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her Minneapolis home and was later shot by Noor, who was one of the responding officers.
According to The New York Times, Rusczcyk's fiancé, Don Damond, slammed the state Supreme Court’s initial decision to reverse Noor’s conviction, saying in a statement via Zoom, “The truth is Justine should be alive. No amount of justification, embellishment, cover-up, dishonesty or politics will ever change that truth.”
Damond also said to Noor, “I have no doubt she would have forgiven you, Mohamed, for your inability to manage your own emotions that night, which resulted in you pulling that trigger. Justine was and is still my greatest teacher. Given her example, I want you to know that I forgive you, Mohamed. All I ask is that you use this experience to do good for other people.”
Noor said in a brief statement to the court, "I’m deeply grateful for Mr. Damond's forgiveness. I’m deeply sorry for the pain I caused that family and I will take his advice and be a unifier. Thank you."
CBS Minnesota reports that in court filings made available on Sept. 15, the state’s supreme court ruled to reverse the murder conviction of the former Minneapolis police officer and sent the case to district court for a second-degree manslaughter conviction.
The ruling claimed the mental state necessary for depraved-mind murder “is a generalized indifference to human life” that can’t exist when the defendant’s actions are “directed with particularity at the person who is killed.”
In March, Noor’s attorney filed a petition asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to hear the case after the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled earlier this year to uphold the 2019 conviction for the shooting death of Damond.
So far, Noor has served nearly 30 months in prison. He was sentenced to 12-and-a-half years after the jury found him guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. That same month, Damond’s family received $20 million in the largest police settlement in Minneapolis history at the time.