A Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot an unarmed woman after she called 911 to report a possible rape happening behind her home was sentenced Thursday to nearly five years in prison—the maximum allowed for manslaughter after his murder conviction was overturned in the case, per the AP. Mohamed Noor was initially convicted of third-degree murder and manslaughter in the 2017 fatal shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a 40-year-old dual US-Australian citizen and yoga teacher who was engaged to be married. But the Minnesota Supreme Court tossed out Noor's murder conviction and sentence last month, saying the third-degree murder statute doesn't fit the case.
Judge Kathryn Quaintance, who also presided at Noor's initial trial, granted prosecutors' request to impose the maximum sentence called for by state sentencing guidelines on Noor's manslaughter conviction: 57 months. In doing so, she brushed aside the defense's request for 41 months, which is the low end of the range. "Mr. Noor, I am not surprised that you have been a model prisoner," Quaintance said. "However, I do not know any authority that would make that grounds for reducing your sentence." She cited Noor "shooting across the nose of your partner" and endangering others the night of the shooting to hand down the stiffest sentence she could.
Noor, who was fired after he was charged, has already served more than 29 months. In Minnesota, inmates who behave well typically serve two-thirds of their prison sentences and the remainder on supervised release. Experts said the state Supreme Court ruling that rejected Noor's third-degree murder conviction means the third-degree murder conviction earlier this year against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in George Floyd's 2020 death likely also will be tossed out. But that would have little impact because Chauvin was also convicted of a more serious second-degree murder charge in Floyd's death. Chauvin was sentenced to 22 1/2 years.
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