Killer Minnesota cop APPEALS his 12-year sentence for murdering an Australian yoga teacher – just days after being moved prisons for ‘his own safety’
- Mohamed Noor shot 40-year-old Justine Damond in July 2017 in Minneapolis
- In April he was convicted of third-degree murder and also of manslaughter
- He was jailed for 12.5 years in June but is now appealing the convictions
Mohamed Noor shot 40-year-old Justine Damond (pictured) in July 2017
An American policeman is appealing his conviction after he was sentenced to 12 years in jail for murdering an Australia yoga teacher.
Mohamed Noor shot 40-year-old Justine Damond in July 2017 after she called 911 to report a possible rape in an alley behind her Minneapolis home.
Noor was convicted of third-degree murder in April and sentenced in June to 12-and-a-half years in prison.
On Tuesday Noor’s lawyers filed an appeal with the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
The lawyers said in a statement that the charge of third-degree murder was too harsh.
‘The anticipated issues for appeal are whether the district court erred by limiting Mr Noor’s right to present a complete defense, allowing the State of Minnesota to engage in prosecutorial misconduct, improperly instructing the jury on Murder in the 3rd Degree and allowing charges to go to the jury which were not supported by probable cause,’ the statement said.
It comes after Noor was moved to a secret prison out of state amid concerns for his safety.
He was moved from Minnesota’s Oak Park Heights jail to a state prison in Bismarck, North Dakota, reported the Star Tribune.
A Minnesota Department of Corrections spokesman said this was for ‘his own safety under the circumstances’.
Mohamed Noor walks to the podium to be sentenced in June 2019
The memorial on the second anniversary of her death at Freshwater Beach, in Sydney
It comes after Ms Damond’s family decided how to split a $20million payout from the city of Minneapolis.
The family filed a $US50 million civil lawsuit last year and received the money days after Noor was found guilty in April.
Minneapolis District court Judge Mary Vasaly approved around $5million each to Ms Damond’s brother Jason Ruszczyk and father John Ruszczyk.
Ms Damond’s fiance Don Damond will also receive $US1million.
John Ruszczyk told the court although Mr Damond was not legally next-of-kin the family wanted him to receive some of the settlement.
The couple was set to marry in a ceremony in Hawaii just weeks after the shooting and his devastation at losing his future wife was evident when he testified at the trial.
The family’s Minneapolis lawyer, Robert Bennett, will receive $US4.9 million in legal fees and two other lawyers will pocket $US700,000 each.
The Minneapolis Foundation will also receive $US2 million in an initiative aimed at ending gun violence.
Noor (pictured in April) is appealing his 12-year sentence for murdering an Australia yoga teacher
Noor was jailed in June for 12 and a half years after he claimed he feared for his life when he came into contact with Ms Damond. Pictured: John Ruszczyk
Ms Damond, originally from Sydney’s northern beaches, moved to Minneapolis after falling in love with Mr Damond after they met at a Colorado retreat.
She was setting up her business in Minneapolis so took his surname before the wedding.
Ms Damond was home alone late on the evening of July 15, 2017 when she heard a woman’s screams behind her home.
When Noor’s police vehicle arrived in the alley Ms Damond approached.
Noor said he feared an ambush and made a split-second decision to shoot across his partner in the front seat and out the driver’s side window, fatally hitting Ms Damond, who was wearing a pink t-shirt and pyjama pants.
How did Ms Damond end up dead?
Justine Ruszczyk Damond, 40, formerly of Sydney’s northern beaches, was home alone in Minneapolis just before midnight on July 15, 2017 when she heard a woman’s screams.
She called 911 to report a possible sexual assault.
When Noor’s police squad car arrived in the alley at the rear of her home she approached the vehicle.
Noor and Harrity testified that Ms Damond startled them after they heard a loud bang on the squad car.
He said he feared an ambush and Noor said he made the split-second decision to shoot across his partner and out the car window at Ms Damond.
Noor also claimed that his partner did not get his gun out of its holster and that he fired at Ms Damond to protect his partner.
Ms Damond, wearing a pink T-shirt, pyjama pants and bare feet, was shot in the abdomen and died soon after.
Noor was sacked from the police force following the incident.
Prosecutor Amy Sweasy said Noor’s version of events did not match officer Harrity’s.
She said body cam from an officer, who later attended the scene, had recorded officer Harrity saying he had his gun out, but did not fire.
Prosecutor Patrick Lofton also claimed that Noor shot too quickly before he had identified a target.