Attorney General Won’t Retry Kerrick in Shooting Death of Ferrell

From by Rad Berky & WCNC Staff, August 28, 2015

The North Carolina Attorney General, Roy Cooper, will not retry Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Randall Kerrick.

Cooper held a news conference at his office in Raleigh and said, “our prosecutors believe unanimously that a retrial will not yield a different result.”

One week ago a jury deadlocked eight to four in favor of acquitting Kerrick, who was charged with voluntary manslaughter for the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell back in September of 2013.

The jury foreman, speaking for the jury, said the only thing the 12 members could agree on was that a unanimous decision could not be reached even if deliberations continued.

A mistrial was declared touching off two nights of mostly peaceful protests in Charlotte, with demonstrators demanding that Kerrick face trial again.

Kerrick did not appear to show much emotion when the judge declared the mistrial; he stared straight at the judge and only seemed to give a smile of relief moments afterward.

Protests began moments of the mistrial being declared last week. Protesters marched through uptown and gathered outside BB&T Ballpark, where the Knights were playing on Friday night. The scene became tense between police and protesters. Two people were arrested during the protests last weekend.

The case was handled by the Attorney General’s prosecutors to avoid a conflict of interest by the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office, which works closely with CMPD.

Cooper did say that he believed the charge against Kerrick was warranted.

“While our prosecutors believed that the elements of voluntary manslaughter were met by the facts and the law in this case, only four members of the jury agreed with us.”

Cooper also said as far as he is concerned, the case against Kerrick is closed– short of some new evidence surfacing.

“The prosecutors believe that overall the jury was conscientious and the judge was fair, but even taking all that into account, meeting the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt could not be achieved.”

The Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office sent out a statement after the Attorney’s Office decide to drop charges against Kerrick:

“The DA’s Office was notified today that the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office will not retry Randall Kerrick. Within days of the incident in 2013, Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray requested that the Attorney General’s Office prosecute the case against Mr. Kerrick because of a professional conflict, and that office has had complete independence in making all decisions related to the case since that time. The DA’s Office has made it a practice to not comment on cases handled by other prosecutorial agencies. Because the Attorney General’s Office prosecuted this matter, the DA’s Office respectfully directs all inquiries to the Office of the Attorney General.

“The DA’s Office, police and community groups are working together to engage in open conversations about the criminal justice system. Charlotte has been uniquely proactive in these efforts, and as we move forward, we must continue to seek justice, build trust and strive toward a fair and equal system. This office is committed to working with all members of the community to ensure that the justice system works to the benefit of everyone.”

Published in: on August 28, 2015 at 10:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

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