Minn. Supreme Court overturns part of former officer's conviction | www.WDIO.com

Minn. Supreme Court overturns part of former officer's conviction

Minn. Supreme Court overturns part of former officer's conviction

The Associated Press/WDIO-TV
Updated: September 15, 2021 10:51 AM
Created: September 15, 2021 10:42 AM

The Minnesota Supreme Court has reversed the third-degree murder conviction of a former Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed an Australian woman in 2017.

Mohamed Noor was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond. He appealed the murder conviction, saying the charge was meant for cases in which a defendant's actions are directed at more than one person.

The Supreme Court wrote:

The issue before us on appeal is not whether Noor is criminally responsible for Ruszczyk’s death; he is, and his conviction of second-degree manslaughter stands. The issue before us is whether in addition to second-degree manslaughter, Noor can also be convicted of depraved-mind murder. Because conduct that is directed with particularity at the person who is killed cannot evince “a depraved mind, without regard for human life,” Minn. Stat. § 609.195(a), and because the only reasonable inference that can be drawn from the circumstances proved is that Noor directed his single shot with particularity at Ruszczyk, we conclude that he cannot. Accordingly, we reverse Noor’s conviction of depraved-mind murder and remand the case to the district court for Noor to be sentenced on the second-degree manslaughter conviction.

The court's ruling Wednesday could give Derek Chauvin grounds to appeal his third-degree murder conviction in George Floyd's death, but that would have little tangible impact since Chauvin was also convicted of the more serious count of second-degree murder.

Noor had been found not guilty of second-degree intentional murder.

LINK: Minnesota Supreme Court decision

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The Associated Press/WDIO-TV

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