Prosecutors played a video of Justine Ruszczyk Damond’s life before Mohamed Noor was sentenced, showing her from infancy through her move to Minnesota.
The video included interviews with her fiancé, Don Damond, family members and friends, who recalled “Juzzy,” as they called her for short, as someone who loved animals and making people happy.
Photos showed her cuddled up next to an anesthetized tiger and crouching on the ground playing with two young chimpanzees. Damond was a veterinary surgeon before becoming a meditation and life coach. One friend said Damond had volunteered at an animal refuge in India.
Another friend, identified as Hemanya in the video, recalled how Damond planned a special tree planting ceremony on Mother’s Day for herself and Hemanya’s husband in honor of their mothers, who died when both were young.
“She just knew how to make people feel better without even thinking about it almost,” Hemanya said.