Kerrick Indicted On Voluntary Manslaughter Charge
A Mecklenburg County grand jury Monday afternoon issued an indictment of voluntary manslaughter against CMPD officer Randall Kerrick for shooting an unarmed black man 10 times.
Earlier in the day, Kerrick's attorneys tried to block prosecutors from resubmitting the case to a new grand jury after a separate grand jury refused to indict Kerrick on a voluntary manslaughter charge last week. A judge denied the motion.
The indictment of officer Randall Kerrick is significant because of what happened last week – when another grand jury decided there wasn’t probable cause that Kerrick is guilty of voluntary manslaughter and instead asked prosecutors to submit a lesser charge.
The case is now cleared for trial, even though Kerrick's attorney's tried to block the case from being heard by another grand jury. A judge denied that motion Monday morning.
Kerrick shot 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell 10 times in mid-September. Police were responding to a report of an early morning break-in, but apparently Ferrell was seeking help after wrecking his car. CMPD charged Kerrick with voluntary manslaughter less than 24 hours after the incident.
The Question of Race
Ferrell’s fiancée has said she believes he was racially profiled. Ferrell was black, and Kerrick is white.
So did about 75 people who protested – and prayed - outside the Government Center today. The Rev. Billy Grier led the group in prayer:
"So God we ask now that you be with those oh God on the grand jury. Lord, we ask now that you would let justice go forward … In Jesus name we pray, say Amen, " Grier said. "Amen!"
Dwayne Collins of Greenville Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church was animated when talking about previous cases of police shootings in Charlotte against black citizens.
"To take the life of an unarmed citizen, we don't want to call it racism/white supremacy, but we have to call it for what it is," Collins said.
Denying The Motion
Next door, inside the courthouse, Kerrick's attorney Michael Greene tried to block the case from going in front another grand jury. He accused prosecutors of "grand jury shopping".
Special Deputy Attorney General Adren Harris shot back that the motion filed late Friday afternoon was "a bunch of fluff" and that defense attorneys were running around in circles.
Prosecutors said, and Judge Bell agreed, that there is nothing in the state law that prevents the state from re-submitting an indictment.