The American police officer who shot and killed Australian woman Justine Damond Ruszczyk has lost his bid to have his murder charge tossed out of court.
Mohamed Noor will instead face trial for her murder in April 2019, after his legal team failed to convince a Minneapolis judge that the case should not go ahead.
District Court Judge Kathryn Quaintance instead ruled that there is probable cause to charge Noor with one count of murder in the third degree and manslaughter in the second degree.
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Noor fatally shot Ms Damond Ruszczyk in the stomach, as she approached his patrol car in the alley behind her home in July 2017.
The 40-year-old, who had moved from Sydney to the US with her American fiance, had earlier phoned 911 after hearing what she feared was a woman being raped.
When she approached the patrol car, Noor “got spooked” and fired from the passenger seat, across his partner and out the driver’s window, fatally hitting Ms Damond Ruszczyk.
“(The) defendant either saw and fired at what he believed was a person, or he fired into the darkness at an unknown target,” Judge Quaintance told the court.
“Under either scenario, the jury could find that his act was dangerous to human beings and was performed without regard for human life.”
A trial date has been set for April 1 in Minneapolis.