MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor’s appeal of his third-degree murder conviction.
Last week, Noor’s attorney filed a petition asking the high court to hear the case after the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled earlier this year to uphold the 2019 conviction for the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond. The petition to the high court was granted just days later, according to an order signed by Chief Justice Lorie Gildea. Oral arguments are set to be heard in June.
The high court’s ruling in Noor’s case has implications for the case of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of murdering George Floyd. Prosecutors are trying to reinstate a charge of third-degree murder against Chauvin before his trial is set to start next week. Chauvin is currently facing charges of second-degree unintentional murder and manslaughter.
In Noor’s case, what the Minnesota Supreme Court will have to determine is if, under the language of the law, someone can be convicted of third-degree murder for “perpetuating an act eminently dangerous” toward a single person and thereby revealing a “depraved mind.”
In their appeal, Noor’s defense argued that there was insufficient evidence to support the depraved mind element of the third-degree murder charge.
In 2017, Noor fatally shot Damond in an alley behind her south Minneapolis home. She had called police to report a possible sexual assault. As Noor and his partner drove through the alley, he testified that he saw what he perceived as a threat and shot the 40-year-old yoga instructor.
Noor is currently serving a 12-and-a-half year sentence for the third-degree murder conviction.