The former Somalian-American police officer, who shot and killed Australian yoga instructor Justine Ruszczyk in 2017 while serving on the Minneapolis police force, will stand trial in April.
Somali-born former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor said that he would plead not guilty to murder charges, and claim he shot Justine Ruszczyk in “defence of others” during a trial scheduled for 1 April, citing a document his lawyers filed with the Minnesota District Court on Friday, Australia’s 9News reported.
According to the document, Noor would also claim he fired in ‘self-defence’ using ‘reasonable force’; this was mentioned in an earlier filing. ‘Defence of others’ will become the defendant’s fourth argument.
On 15 July 2017, the white 40-year-old yoga instructor was shot in the abdomen and killed when she approached a police cruiser containing Noor and another officer, Matthew Harrity, in her pyjamas after phoning for help following an alleged assault in the alley behind her home, according to The Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
If the court finds him guilty and convicts him of second-degree murder, Noor faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
In March last year, the Minneapolis Police Department fired the officer shortly after criminal charges against him were announced.