Following the Minnesota Supreme Court reversing Mohamed Noor's third-degree murder conviction in the death of Justine Damond, he was resentenced Thursday to 57 months in prison for second-degree manslaughter. The 57 months is the top end of the sentencing guidelines per Minnesota law. With time served, Noor will be eligible for supervised release on June 27, 2022.
Noor was originally sentenced 12 and a half years before his third degree murder conviction was overturned.
Don Damond: Justine ‘would have forgiven you’
Justine's fiancé Don Damond speaking via Zoom also addressed the court, saying ""She would have forgiven you for you inability to control your emotions that night."
"I’m deeply grateful for Mr. Damond's forgiveness," Noor said in a short statement in court. "I’m deeply sorry for the pain I caused that family and I will take his advice and be a unifier. Thank you."
Noor's father: ‘Worst judge’
Mohamed Noor's father Mohamed Abass disagreed with the resentencing saying Judge Quaintance's ruling was racially motivated.
State: 'The most just resolution'
Following the ruling, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office released a statement:
"Our office is pleased with Judge Kathryn L. Quaintance's decision to sentence Mr. Noor to the statutory maximum of 57-months in prison. It was a sentence our office requested and obtained. Given the circumstances, we feel it is the most just resolution. We hope the family and loved ones of Justine Ruszczyk are able to finally heal."
Last week, Noor’s attorneys filed paperwork asking for a 41-month, or approximately 3.5 years, sentence on his manslaughter conviction — the lightest penalty recommended under state sentencing guidelines. They argue the harsh and isolating conditions of his confinement, prison conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Noor’s prison conduct all warrant a lesser sentence.
Noor recently returned to the Minnesota prison system after being housed out of state in part due to the high-profile nature of his case. Noor has already served around 29 months in prison. Prosecutors did not seek an upward sentencing departure at Noor’s trial.
Minnesota Supreme Court overturns 3rd-degree murder conviction
Noor shot and killed Damond on July 15, 2017 after she called 911 to report a possible assault near her home in south Minneapolis. During his trial, Noor testified he feared an ambush when Damond walked up to the squad car and shot across his partner, killing the 50-year-old Australian woman.
In 2019, he was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Damond’s death and sentenced to 12.5 years in prison.
Noor's attorneys challenged the third-degree murder statute, arguing it did not fit the crime, and the state Supreme Court ultimately agreed.