The 40-year-old Australian-born woman was fatally shot by the former police officer on July 15, 2017, after calling 911 to report a possible sexual assault taking place in the alley behind her Minneapolis home. Noor told the court he mistook her as a ‘threat’ and opened fire.
Noor was convicted by a jury of Ruszczyk Damond’s third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in April. On Friday, he was handed a 12.5-year prison term.
Ruszczyk Damond’s partner, Don Damond, who was set to marry his “soul mate” in a romantic ceremony in Hawaii just weeks after the tragedy, addressed the court in tears.
It was in the form of a letter he wrote to Ruszczyk Damond.
Damond’s heart-wrenching words included how they were planning to have a baby.
“I miss you every day – every moment,” Damond said.
He explained that following his fiancée’s death he broke down in a dress shop upon seeing the wedding dress she was going to wear.
Ruszczyk Damond’s Australian family members were not in court but their impact statements were read.
Her father requested the maximum sentence and described how “Justine’s death has left me incomplete”.
The murder count carried a maximum 25 years' prison and the manslaughter charge 10 years. Judge Quantance's 12.5 year term matched the guideline sentence and the length proposed by prosecutors.
Noor, who admitted he took the life of "a perfect person", said he had wanted to meet with Damond's family members but was prevented from doing so.
"I've thought and prayed about this for two years, since the time I took the life of Justine Ruszczyk," Noor said before sentencing, according to CNN. "I've also been thinking about all the other lives that have been changed and continue to be changed after this event. None of the families will ever be the same again."
He shared that he hopes to write the family a letter from jail.
"I have wanted to sit with Mr Damond and tell him about what happened and to extend my condolences to him for the last two years as well as to Ms Ruszczyk's other families," Noor said in a voice trembling with emotion.