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Former Minnesota officer pleads not guilty in shooting death of unarmed Australian woman

The woman had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her home.
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A former Minneapolis police officer pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges stemming from the 2017 shooting death of an unarmed Australian woman.

Mohamed Noor, 33, appeared in court and said he's not guilty of charges that include second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the July 15, 2017, shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a 40-year-old life coach.

Image: Mohamed Noor, Peter Wold, Tom Plunkett
Mohamed Noor, left, the former Minneapolis police officer arrives at the Hennepin County Government Center Friday, March 1, 2019.Jim Mone / AP

Damond had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her home. Noor and his partner, Matthew Harrity, who was driving, responded, and Damon was shot as she approached the officers' vehicle.

The case has been dragged out due to battles over what evidence should be allowed at trial.

Prosecutors had wanted to use Noor’s refusal to speak to investigators against him. But Judge Kathryn Quaintance ruled for the defense on Friday, citing a defendant’s protection from self-incrimination.

The trial is set to begin on April 1. Noor was fired after he was charged.