Jury Selection Begins In Trial of Randall Kerrick
Randall Kerrick, former officer with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C. police department, is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the killing of 24- year old Jonathan Ferrell. The Root reports 5 things we need to know.
- Jonathan Ferrell was unarmed and looking for help. Around 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 14, 2013, Ferrell’s car ran off the entrance road into a suburban neighborhood just 15 miles from downtown Charlotte and crashed into some trees. Authorities believe that immediately after the crash, Ferrell climbed out the car’s back window to seek help. He knocked on the door of a nearby home. A female homeowner answered the door, thinking it was her husband returning home from work. Upon seeing Ferrell, she closed the door and called 911.
The three CMPD officers who responded to the 911 call encountered Ferrell on the road. In their description of events that night, officers said that Ferrell “charged” and “ran” at them. The officers attempted to stop Ferrell with a Taser before Kerrick shot him. CMPD officers found Ferrell unarmed.
- Kerrick shot Ferrell 10 times. Kerrick fired 12 rounds, with 10 shots hitting Ferrell killing him. Kerrick claimed self-defense. The shooting was reportedly captured on a police dashboard cam, but the video has not been released to the public. Police ruled that the shooting was excessive, which led to the voluntary-manslaughter charge. Since Ferrell’s death, Kerrick has been on leave without pay.
- It took two grand juries to indict Kerrick. In January 2014, a grand jury declined to indict Kerrick, but prosecutors argued that the grand jury wasn’t a full panel and resubmitted the case. Kerrick was then indicted by a second grand jury later that month. Kerrick’s attorneys called the move to resubmit the case unlawful and attempted to block it but failed.
- Kerrick’s lawyers tried to get the case thrown out. On May 6, Kerrick’s attorneys, George V. Laughrun II and Michael J. Greene, filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that Ferrell was under the influence the night he was killed. The motion claims that witness statements say that Ferrell “ingested illegal drugs, possibly marijuana, and/or other substances on the night of the shooting.” The document goes on to describe Ferrell’s interactions with Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers as “aggressive conduct,” claiming “that the decedent’s behavior was caused by the alcohol he consumed and substances he smoked on the night in question.” However, a toxicology report showed that Ferrell, who had been drinking that night, was not drunk and had no drugs in his system.
- The city of Charlotte reached a $2.25 million settlement with Ferrell’s family. In May, 2015, City Attorney Bob Hagemann announced at a news conference that the Charlotte City Council approved the settlement by unanimous decision. Hagemann said that the “city remains saddened by Mr. Farrell’s death” and that this was a “fair and equitable settlement.”
Ferrell’s mother, Georgia Ferrell, was pleased about the settlement but also said in a statement that “it is devastating to know that nothing we will do will ever bring Jonathan back.”
On his last night in Charlotte, Jonathan Ferrell joined his co-workers at one of their favorite spots and took on what his family members say was a familiar role. Ferrell, never a big drinker, volunteered to give a friend a ride home. After the gathering ended, Jonathan went miles out of his way to drive co-worker, Max Funderburke, to Bradfield Farms, a sprawling suburban neighborhood east of Charlotte.
No one seems to know how, but Jonathan was in car accident. He lost his cell phone. When he knocked on the door of a house, presumably seeking help, the woman in the house called 911 and reported that someone was trying to rob her.
When officers located Jonathan, he ran towards them.
Charles Monnett, who represented Jonathan’s family in the federal lawsuit, stated,
“It would never dawn on Jon to view (police) as a threat or that he would be viewed as a threat. It just wasn’t in his psyche. There were three officers present. They’re using a lot of lies to cover themselves. No matter what they say, it does not justify why one officer shoots someone 10 times and the other officers don’t draw their guns at all.”
Jury selection is scheduled to begin today in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, with Judge Robert C. Ervin presiding. Judge Ervin is based in Burke County.
Fox 46 in Charlotte is suppose to carry live coverage. They have a video already set-up on Youtube. The live coverage may or may not start on the video embedded below. If not, we will try to find where it can be watched.
Posted on 07/20/2015, in Cases, Jonathan Ferrell and tagged Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Jonathan Ferrell, live coverage, N.C, Randall Kerrick, trial, voluntary manslaugher. Bookmark the permalink. 75 Comments.