MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor formally pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of second-degree intentional murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in the 2017 shooting death of Justine Damond.
Noor, 33, fatally shot the Australian native, who also went by Justine Ruszczyk, when she approached his squad car after calling police to report a possible assault in the alley behind her home in the Fulton neighborhood of southwest Minneapolis.
At the pretrial hearing, attorneys on both sides presented their arguments about what evidence should be presented to jurors when the case goes to trial next month.
A judge ruled Friday that prosecutors will not be able to offer evidence of Noor’s prior “bad acts” as a Minneapolis police officer, including pulling a gun at a routine traffic stop. They will also not be able to introduce his psychological evaluation from the Minneapolis Police Department hiring process.
Since the deadly encounter, Noor has refused to speak with investigators, but prosecutors will not be able to use that against him at trial either.
Still unclear if Mohamed Noor himself will testify in his own defense. His legal team arguing self defense/reasonable use of force. Noor's silence & decision not to speak w/ investigators in this case can NOT be used against him by prosecutors.— Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) March 1, 2019
Worth noting: Judge's initial court rulings relating to evidence can shift at trial depending on witness testimony. For example, if Noor takes the stand, there's potential for his prior bad acts as officer or psych evaluation to come in to "impeach" his claims. #JustineDamond— Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) March 1, 2019
Friday's hearing was held in small, packed courtroom and lasted 35 minutes. There were minimal oral arguments before the judge made her rulings primarily on written motions. Noor said nothing at the hearing, but did wave to his family as he arrived in a fitted, dark blue suit.
Friday’s hearing is separate from the $50 million civil suit filed by the victim's family. A federal judge has ordered that case be put on hold until Noor’s criminal case is resolved
Jury selection for the criminal trial will begin on April 1. Both sides agreed to a 17-page jury questionnaire that will ask potential jurors about their knowledge of the case, pre-trial publicity, their opinions of police, their opinions of Somali-Americans and their ability to serve. Jury notices have already been mailed. READ IT: Noor trial jury questionnaire