MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After 20 days of questions, evidence and testimony, the defense team of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor rested their case, setting the stage for closing arguments.
Over the past two days, Noor testified in his own defense, claiming he only had a fraction of a second to save his partner’s life from what he called “the threat.”
Criminal defense attorney Marsh Halberg thinks some of the former officer’s answers came off too rehearsed, but that he did a good job overall.
“I think we expected him to come off as a kind, kind of soft-spoken man,” Halberg said. “He did that.”
Halberg isn’t connected to this case, but has tried more than 100 criminal jury trials. He believes most of the other witness testimony won’t play a big part in the jury’s decision.
“In the end, I think a lot of all of the stuff that’s happened in the last couple weeks is just noise,” he said.
But small discrepancies that came out on the witness stand might have an impact.
“Mr. Noor testified that he watched his partner fighting to try to get his gun out of the holster, and he saw that battle that was kind of going on with the gun,” Halberg said. “Mr. Harrity testified that he already had the gun out on his lap.”
For a case of this magnitude, Halberg says it moved along pretty quickly.
“The speed of questioning, there wasn’t a delay between questions. It was bang, bang, bang, both sides kept going,” he said.
The jury will be sequestered, meaning they won’t go home until a verdict is reached. A long deliberation could be a sign of something bad for the defense.
“To decide somebody is guilty of murder, they might err on the side of a little more time. So we kind of think that the longer it goes, maybe the defense doesn’t like that,” he said.
The prosecution is expected to call at least one more witness, meaning jurors could get the case as soon as Monday afternoon.
Four of the 16 jury members are alternates. They have heard all the evidence just in case they need to fill in. Those alternates will be sent home before deliberations begin.