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Key Points In The Mohamed Noor Trial

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Tomorrow a murder trial being watched around the world could go to the jury in Minneapolis. The Prosecution has one more witness to call, then will come closing arguments.

Former Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor is on trial for the murder of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.

Noor shot and killed Damond in July of 2017 after he and his partner, Mathew Harrity, responded to her 911 call of a possible sexual assault behind her home.

RELATED: The Defense Rests: Closing Arguments In Mohamed Noor Trial Expected Monday

Marsh Halberg is a former Prosecutor and well-known defense attorney who sat through much of the testimony.

He says one of the keys in this trial is that Minnesota law allows for the use of deadly force if an officer perceives a threat.

"You don't have to perceive an actual danger, it's an apparent danger," explained Halberg.

Halberg says helping the defense were two neighbors who testified that they heard a sound that could have been the slapping of a police squad car.

"They heard other noises that happened and heard what she described as a garbage can getting kicked over and then a half a second later the gunshot," explained Halberg.

Halberg says those witnesses bolster the defense's argument that it was the sound of Damond slapping the squad car that caused Officer Noor to perceive her as a threat.

The prosecution has argued that slap never happened, but was fabricated by the defense.

Noor is charged with three crimes: second-degree murder with intent, but no premeditation, which has a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. Second-degree manslaughter, which requires the jury to find that he acted with "culpable negligence" and created an "unreasonable risk" of causing death or great bodily harm. The maximum sentence there is 10 years in prison.

The third charge is third-degree murder, a rarely used count which would require the jury to find that Noor acted with a "depraved mind." The maximum sentence on that count is 25 years.

The trial gets underway Monday morning at 9 a.m.

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