A US court has thrown out the third-degree murder conviction of the former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor for mistakenly killing the Australian woman Justine Damond.
Noor was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the 2017 death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a dual US-Australian citizen who called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her home.
He was sentenced to 12 and a half years on the murder count but was not sentenced for manslaughter.
The Minnesota supreme court’s ruling means his murder conviction is overturned and the case will go back to the district court, where he will be sentenced on the manslaughter count. He has already served more than 28 months of his murder sentence.
If sentenced to the presumptive four years for manslaughter, he could be eligible for supervised release at the end of this year.
In its ruling, the court also clarified what would constitute third-degree murder, or depraved-mind murder, saying the statute doesn’t apply if a defendant’s actions are directed at a particular person.
The ruling could give the former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin grounds to contest his own third-degree murder conviction for George Floyd’s May 2020 death.
But that wouldn’t have much impact on Chauvin since he was also convicted of the more serious count of second-degree murder and is serving 22 and a half years on that count.
Experts say it’s unlikely Chauvin would be successful in appealing his second-degree murder conviction.
The ruling in Noor’s case was also closely watched for its possible impact on three other former Minneapolis officers awaiting trial for Floyd’s death.
Prosecutors had wanted to add charges of aiding and abetting third-degree murder against them but that is unlikely now.
All slightly convenient for the pigs; all the bricks fallings into place to make sure Chauvin is the one sacrifice and everyone else skates.