Officer who shot Justine Damond to appear in court

Leroy Wright
May 10, 2018

Noor's lawyer has filed documents indicating the ex-officer will plead not guilty, arguing that the shooting was self-defence and involved a reasonable use of force.

Noor has been living with his parents on $US500,000 bail over the third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges.

Mohamed Noor didn't speak during the brief Tuesday hearing.

Last July, Noor and his partner were driving in an alley in south Minneapolis responding to Damond's 911 call. He faces a maximum 25-year sentence if convicted of the murder charge.

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. Despite frantic attempts to save her, she died at the scene. The Australian yoga instructor had moved to the U.S. to marry her fiancee, whose name she had already legally adopted.

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Damond and her family in Australia have hired Robert Bennett, one of the most successful lawyers in Minneapolis in cases of alleged police misconduct.

Noor's attorney, Tom Plunkett, previously said his client should not have been charged and he was simply following his training.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has said there was no evidence Noor encountered a threat that justified using deadly force.

Matthew Harrity, the officer driving the police auto from which Noor shot, said he was startled by a loud sound and both officers "got spooked" when Damond appeared out of nowhere, prosecutors said.

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