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Minnesota Supreme Court to review Mohamed Noor's third-degree murder conviction

Noor was convicted of second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder in the death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Supreme Court announced Monday it has agreed to review the third-degree murder conviction of former Minneapolis officer Mohamed Noor.

According to KARE 11's Lou Raguse, the Supreme Court will hear the case in June.

Last week, Noor's legal team officially filed a petition asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to revisit and review the conviction in the death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond in 2017.

The filing by Noor's lawyers argues that the prosecution did not adequately establish Noor's mindset, or "depraved-mind element," necessary for a third-degree murder conviction in Minnesota.

Noor's legal team disagrees with the Minnesota Court of Appeals' decision that "a conviction for third-degree murder may be sustained even if the death causing act was directed at a single person" – and argues the court broke with 100 years of precedent in doing so. 

The Noor legal team is asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to revisit the necessary prerequisites for third-degree murder itself, while also seeking to have the court "sufficiently differentiate murder from manslaughter."

Noor was on patrol in July 2017, when he responded to a call from Damond claiming she heard a woman under attack. 

Upon arrival, an unarmed Damond approached Noor's squad car, when the officer shot her – an act he claims was in self defense.

Noor was ultimately convicted for her death on both second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder, and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

The following video was published in June 2019:

The Noor appeal could potentially have an impact on the upcoming trial of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin in the May 2020 death of George Floyd. State prosecutors are seeking to add a similar third-degree murder charge against Chauvin; however, a Hennepin County District Court Judge denied that motion, noting that Noor's third-degree murder conviction was not yet considered a precedent, pending its appeal. 

On Monday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals heard arguments in reinstating the third-degree murder charge in the Chauvin case. Chauvin is scheduled to go to trial on March 8.

RELATED: State appeals court to consider 3rd-degree murder charge for former Minneapolis officer

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