Ex-Minneapolis Officer seeks 41 months for 911 caller's suicide

According to documents filed Thursday, attorneys for the Minneapolis ex-police officer who shot and killed a woman calling 911 to report a possible sexual assault at her home are asking that a judge sentence him to 41 years on a manslaughter count, which is the lightest sentencing recommendation under state guidelines.

Ex-Minneapolis Officer seeks 41 months for 911 caller's suicide

In the 2017 death Justine Ruszczyk-Damond, a dual citizen of Australia and the U.S., Mohamed Noor was initially found guilty of third-degree murder. Although he was initially sentenced to 12 and 1/2 years for the murder charge, the Supreme Court overturned Noor's conviction and sentence last month. They said that the third-degree murder statute didn't match the facts.

Noor was convicted of second degree manslaughter. He will be sentenced Oct. 21. The guidelines for sentencing call for a range between 41 and 57 months with the presumptive sentence of four years.

Noor was taken into custody April 30, 2019. He has already served 29 months. Minnesota law allows defendants who are good behave to serve two-thirds their sentence in prison and the remainder on supervised release. Noor could be eligible for supervision release if he is sentenced to four years in prison for presumptive manslaughter.

His release could be possible if the judge accepts the defense and sentences Noor up to 41 months.

The sentence that the prosecution will seek has not been revealed by the prosecutor.

Noor's lawyers argue that a 41 month sentence recognizes Noor’s "particularly harsh" incarceration as well as his good conduct in prison.

Peter Wold and Tom Plunkett, Noor's attorneys, wrote that he had served 110 days in administrative isolation in Minnesota's maximum security prison. He is kept in segregation for 23 hours per day and is allowed no visitors in a concrete room measuring 6 by 9 feet.

He can enjoy one hour of recreation three to four times a week. It takes place in a 13-by-17 foot space with a pullup bar and a telephone. They allow him to make a phone call for 10-20 minutes, then he walks in circles, writing.

The attorneys stated that Noor spent most of his time in an out-of state facility. His attorneys wrote that the COVID-19 pandemic caused harsh conditions and prevented him from visiting his family for over a year.

According to the attorneys, Noor has received 19 positive behavior report while he was in custody. These reports were included in Thursday's court filings and praise Noor for his willingness and ability to help others. They also commend his hard work as an janitor, and his positive attitude.

Noor received the September 11th Worker Award in September 2020. This award was given to honor those who had died on September 11, 2001. He was recognized by a sergeant, who wrote that he was dedicated to his job and respected others. "It is my hope you will continue to inspire other people to reach their goals, far beyond the walls of these walls," he added.

Noor, who testified at his 2019 trial, said that a loud bang from his squad car scared him and his partner. So he reached across the passenger seat to fire through the driver's side window. According to his attorneys, he believed that he was saving the life of his partner.

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