Up­grade push on Da­mond charges

Sunday Herald Sun - - News -

US pros­e­cu­tors are try­ing to bol­ster the mur­der charge against the for­mer Min­neapo­lis po­lice of­fi­cer ac­cused of us­ing “tragic accuracy” to shoot dead Aus­tralian life coach Jus­tine Da­mond Ruszczyk.

Mo­hamed Noor ini­tially was charged with third-de­gree mur­der and sec­ond-de­gree man­slaugh­ter, but pros­e­cu­tors have asked a judge in Min­neapo­lis to add a more se­ri­ous sec­ond-de­gree mur­der count.

Da­mond, 40, for­merly of Sydney, was shot dead as she ap­proached Noor’s po­lice ve­hi­cle in an al­ley be­hind her Min­neapo­lis home just be­fore mid­night on July 15 last year.

Da­mond had called po­lice af­ter hear­ing a woman’s screams near the al­ley.

Pros­e­cu­tors al­leged Noor “knew ex­actly what he was do­ing and that he in­tended to do it” when he shot from the pas­sen­ger seat of his po­lice ve­hi­cle, across his part­ner in the driver’s seat and out the car win­dow hit­ting Da­mond in the stom­ach.

“That is prob­a­ble cause for sec­ond-de­gree mur­der,” pros­e­cu­tors wrote in the fil­ing. “The cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the crime show that the de­fen­dant acted with the in­tent to kill.”

“He fired at Ms Ruszczyk from no more than six feet (1.8m) away. “He fired with tragic accuracy, man­ag­ing to send a 9mm bul­let across his part­ner’s body and through the nar­row space of the open driver’s side win­dow.

“As a trained po­lice of­fi­cer, the de­fen­dant was fully aware that such a shot would kill Ms Ruszczyk, a re­sult he clearly in­tended.”

Noor, no longer a po­lice of­fi­cer, is sched­uled to face a jury on April 1 in Min­neapo­lis.

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