Justine Danond was shot dead by police officer Mohamed Noor. Police officer plans to plead not guilty in Justine Damond case
Justine Danond was shot dead by police officer Mohamed Noor. Police officer plans to plead not guilty in Justine Damond case

Plea deal denied for cop who shot Justine

PROSECUTORS in Minneapolis have said they are not willing to offer Mohamed Noor a plea bargain and will press forward with murder charges for killing Sydney yoga instructor Justine Damond Ruszczyk.

Mr Noor did not speak during a brief court appearance, where prosecutors also revealed they have received "a large volume" of evidence from his defence during discovery.

 

Former Minneapolis police officer, Mohamed Noor (centre) leaves Hennepin County Government Centre confronted by a large media pack.  Picture:  Angus Mordant
Former Minneapolis police officer, Mohamed Noor (centre) leaves Hennepin County Government Centre confronted by a large media pack. Picture: Angus Mordant

 

Wearing a navy blue suit and light blue shirt, Mr Noor was supported by more than a dozen members of his extended family for the two minute omnibus hearing.

The date of his next court appearance will be discussed in coming days, but this will not be in open court.

 

Mr Noor's lawyer Thomas Plunkett revealed in paperwork lodged two weeks ago that his client plans to plead not guilty over the killing, citing self defence and reasonable force.

Mr Noor shot and killed Damond after she called 911 for help last July.

Justine Damond called the police after  hearing what she thought was a woman screaming for help. Picture: Nathan Edwards
Justine Damond called the police after hearing what she thought was a woman screaming for help. Picture: Nathan Edwards

Noor has been living with his parents on $US500,000 bail over the third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges. He faces a maximum 25-year sentence if convicted of the murder charge.

The then-rookie officer was in the passenger seat of his patrol car when he and partner, Officer Matthew Harrity, responded to Damond's emergency call late on a Saturday night.

Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor leaving the Hennepin County jail with his lawyer, Thomas Plunkett, after posting bail. Picture: Chris Juhn
Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor leaving the Hennepin County jail with his lawyer, Thomas Plunkett, after posting bail. Picture: Chris Juhn

The 40-year-old yoga instructor, who was to be married the next month to American businessman Don Damond, reported hearing what she thought was a woman screaming for help, possibly being sexually assaulted.

After driving down the lane behind her southern Minneapolis bungalow and finding no evidence of anyone being attacked, the pair stopped at a driveway 100m away. Wearing her pyjamas, Ms Damond approached the back of their car at the same time they heard what they described as a loud bang that led them to think they were in danger.

Justine Damond with her fiance, Don Damond.  The Australian yoga instructor had moved to the US to marry her fiancee, whose name she had already legally adopted. Picture: Nathan Edwards
Justine Damond with her fiance, Don Damond. The Australian yoga instructor had moved to the US to marry her fiancee, whose name she had already legally adopted. Picture: Nathan Edwards

Mr Noor fired his service revolver once across his partner's chest, shooting Damond in the stomach. She died minutes later and her death drew international headlines, sparked protests in the city against police brutality and also led to accusations of racism in the prosecution of Mr Noor, whose supporters argue is being targeted because he is a black Muslim.

County Attorney Mike Freeman has previously told News Corp Australia he brought the murder charge because he was confident of a conviction.

Mohammed Noor’s mugshot, which was  released by the Hennepib County Sheriff's Office.
Mohammed Noor’s mugshot, which was released by the Hennepib County Sheriff's Office.

"If you take it down to the most basic element, Officer Noor reached across his partner inside a police squad car and shot out the open window of the driver, his partner's car, at an object or an entity that he had not recognised," he said.

"Officer Harrity … heard something, had seen vision of a strange shadow of a person, couldn't tell if it was a male or a female, couldn't tell if it was an adult or a child and most importantly, couldn't see the hands.

"Police officers are only allowed to use deadly force if there is a threat, and in our view, we believe that the evidence shows there is not way that Officer Noor perceived or had a threat to himself or others that justified him using this kind of deadly force."



Nudge is back in business at Lake Awoonga

premium_icon Nudge is back in business at Lake Awoonga

It’s been a tough year for ‘Nudge’ but things are looking up with reopening of his...

Shed full of fun to enjoy at open day

premium_icon Shed full of fun to enjoy at open day

Gladstone Men’s Shed offering something for everyone at its open day on...

Autopsy results in after alleged Auckland St murder

premium_icon Autopsy results in after alleged Auckland St murder

Gladstone man in supreme court facing murder charge