pcloudy.png
Saturday July 31st, 2021 9:01AM

Justices to decide if charge fits Minneapolis police killing

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday in the case of Mohamed Noor, a former Minneapolis police officer who was convicted of third-degree murder in the shooting death of an Australian woman who had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her home.

Noor's attorneys argue that a divided Minnesota Court of Appeals failed to follow legal precedents defining third-degree murder when it affirmed Noor's conviction. The high court's decision has repercussions for another high profile police killing case, the death of George Floyd. Besides second-degree murder, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was also convicted in April of third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter.

The judge overseeing Chauvin's trial initially threw out the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin, but later reinstated the count after the Court of Appeals in February affirmed Noor's conviction for third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin faces sentencing June 25. Prosecutors are seeking to add charges of aiding and abetting third-degree murder to the existing counts against three other ex-officers facing trial in Floyd’s death. All four former officers also face federal civil rights charges.

Noor was convicted in 2019 of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter and sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison in the 2017 death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a dual U.S.-Australian citizen engaged to a Minneapolis man. Noor testified that a loud bang on the squad car startled him and his partner, and that he reached across his partner from the passenger seat and fired through the driver's window to protect his partner’s life. But prosecutors criticized Noor for shooting without seeing a weapon or even Damond’s hands when she approached the car.

A key issue is whether third-degree murder in Minnesota must involve actions that endangered multiple people, or if it's sufficient that only one person was put at risk. Both sides in their written briefs cited previous cases to back up their positions on how the statute should be interpreted.

The statute defines third-degree murder a “an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life.” The high court is being asked to decide whether “dangerous to others” must be read as plural, or if the fatal act can be directed at a single, specific person.

Prosecutors wrote in their brief that over 40 states have some form of “depraved mind” or “depraved indifference” homicide statute, but “only a handful" require a defendant to endanger more than one person for prosecutors to get a conviction.

Defense attorneys wrote in their brief that the “particular-person exclusion" that they say was eliminated by the Court of Appeals serves an important public policy function because it helps draw a distinction between the varying degrees of murder and other forms of homicide charges, such as manslaughter, which carry different penalties.

If the high court void's Noor's third-degree murder conviction, it could still affirm his conviction for second-degree manslaughter, but it carries a recommended sentence of just 4 years under the state's sentencing guidelines.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
McAuliffe wins Democratic nomination for Virginia governor
Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has won the Democratic Party’s nomination in his quest for a second term in office
11:43PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Justices to decide if charge fits Minneapolis police killing
The Minnesota Supreme Court hears oral arguments Wednesday in the case of Mohamed Noor
11:38PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Senate passes bill to boost US tech industry, counter rivals
The Senate has overwhelmingly approved legislation aiming to boost semiconductor production in the U.S. The bill is a bid to protect economic and national security in the face of growing international competition, most notably from China
9:52PM ( 2 hours ago )
U.S. News
Riley, Acuña, Contreras go deep, Braves beat Phillies 9-5
Austin Riley, Ronald Acuña Jr. and William Contreras each hit a solo homer and the Atlanta Braves rallied to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-5
11:47PM ( 8 minutes ago )
China: Professor killed party official at Fudan University
Authorities say a professor has killed the Communist Party secretary at the school of mathematics at China’s prestigious Fudan University
11:35PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Global sting began by creating message service for crooks
Criminal gangs that used a secure-messaging app called ANOM unwittingly allowed the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to eavesdrop on their conversations
11:26PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Harris tells Latin Americans the US can offer them hope
Vice President Kamala Harris is telling the poor and threatened populations of Latin America that the United States has “the capacity to give people a sense of hope” in the region so they can make better lives without fleeing to the U.S. Harris closed her first foreign trip as vice president unapologetic for her decision not to visit the U.S.-Mexico border as part of her mission to address migration to the U.S. She said her meetings with leaders and others in Guatemala and Mexico were vital...
7:37PM ( 4 hours ago )
Biden ends GOP infrastructure talks, starts new negotiations
President Joe Biden has ended talks with a group of Republican senators on a big infrastructure package and has started to reach out to senators from both parties in a new effort toward bipartisan compromise
7:16PM ( 4 hours ago )
New faces enter fray as California recall slowly takes shape
California officials announced six weeks ago that Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom would face an almost certain recall election
6:18PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Civil rights leaders don't budge key senator on voting bill
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin says he wasn't swayed by civil rights leaders who implored him to back his party's sweeping voting rights bill
4:50PM ( 7 hours ago )
S Carolina's state-owned utility survives as public company
South Carolina’s state-owned utility appears to have survived four years of turmoil to remain public
4:46PM ( 7 hours ago )
Far-right Idaho Republicans battle to control party, state
Mainstream and far-right Republicans are battling for control of the party and the state in deeply conservative Idaho
3:57PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
McAuliffe wins Democratic nomination for Virginia governor
Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has won the Democratic Party’s nomination in his quest for a second term in office
11:43PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Senate passes bill to boost US tech industry, counter rivals
The Senate has overwhelmingly approved legislation aiming to boost semiconductor production in the U.S. The bill is a bid to protect economic and national security in the face of growing international competition, most notably from China
9:52PM ( 2 hours ago )
Biden nominee for public lands boss faces GOP opposition
President Joe Biden’s nominee to oversee vast expanses of public land in the U.S. West is being criticized by Republicans because of her involvement in partisan politics as a longtime Democratic aide and environmentalist
9:30PM ( 2 hours ago )
Man charged with murder of boy in road-rage shooting
A Southern California man has been charged with murder and shooting at an occupied vehicle over a road rage attack that killed a 6-year-old boy on a freeway
8:52PM ( 3 hours ago )
Police: Suspected Baltimore gang leader dead after standoff
Police say a suspected Baltimore gang leader has died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound after a standoff with law enforcement in an Atlanta suburb
7:54PM ( 4 hours ago )