MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (KTTC) – A former Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed Justine Ruszczyk Damond after she approached his squad car was sentenced to more than twelve years in prison Friday morning.
Hennepin County Judge Kathryn Quaintance issued the sentence in a Minneapolis courtroom. Sentencing guidelines called for anywhere between 10.5 and 15 years in prison.
Mohamed Noor read a letter to the court minutes before he was sentenced.
“I’ve owed Ms. Ruszczyk’s family for a long time. I apologize…for taking the life of such a perfect person,” Noor said.
“I took great pride in wearing a uniform,” he added.
Members of Damond’s family read victim statements to the judge before the sentencing.
“The day of July 15, 2017, was the last time I felt a since of happiness ,a sense of trust…that everything could be okay,” said Don Damond, who was engaged to Justine.
Part of his statement took the form of a letter addressed to his late fiancée.
“I miss you so much everyday,” he read, holding back tears.
A jury convicted Noor on third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges in April after a tense trial. The defense argued he used reasonable force and acted in self-defense, but the jury sided with prosecutors, who painted a picture of an unwarranted act of violence that took a life.