Former Minneapolis Police officer sentenced for death of Justine Damond

Former Minneapolis Police officer sentenced for death of Justine Damond

MINNEAPOLIS (KEYC) - A former Minneapolis police officer convicted of killing an unarmed woman who called 911 is heading to prison.

Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor was sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison for killing Justine Ruszcyk Damond outside her home.

The Australia native and yoga instructor had called police to report a possible sexual assault.

The 40-year-old was killed just weeks before she was set to marry Don Damond who spoke in court.

Damond said, "I miss you so much every day, every moment. I don't understand how such a thing could happen to you and to us."

Ruszcyk Damond was shot when she approached Noor's patrol car in an alley behind her home in July 2017.

Noor fired through the window– he testified he and his partner heard a loud noise and were startled– and that he shot to save his fellow officer's life.

He read a letter to the court.

Mohamed Noor said, "The moment I pulled the trigger I felt fear. When I walked around, I saw Ms. Ruszyck lying on the ground, I felt horror."

Noor's attorneys asked he be sentenced to probation– but report to jail for a week on Damond's birthday and the anniversary of her death.

Defense attorney Thomas Plunkett said, "A prison sentence gives revenge. A prison sentence prevents healing."

Prosecutors strongly argued against that proposal.

Assistant Hennepin Co. Attorney Amy Sweasy said, "Such a sentence would be wildly inappropriate in a case of this severity."

In April, Noor was convicted of third degree murder and second degree manslaughter. He is the first police officer in Minnesota to be convicted of murder.

The city of Minneapolis reached a settlement with Damond’s family for $20 million.

Copyright 2019 KEYC. All rights reserved.