Sunday headlines
9:49 am
Sun September 15, 2013

Weekend Headlines: CMPD Officer Charged, Life-Vest Rules Updated, 49ers Lose

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer has been charged with voluntary manslaughter after he shot and killed an unarmed man who police say may only have been seeking help after an auto wreck nearby. 

Officer Randall Kerrick was charged after the incident at a home on Reedy Creek Road in east Charlotte.  A resident told police that a man knocked on her door around 2:30am, and she thought it might be her husband. When she didn’t recognize the man, she called 911.

When police arrived a few minutes later, they say 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell ran toward them as they got out of their cars.  One officer tried unsuccessfully to stop Ferrell with a Taser. Officer Kerrick fired several shots, killing Ferrell.  He was charged after an initial investigation found his response was “excessive.” 

Police believe Ferrell went to the home to get help. His wrecked vehicle was found down an embankment nearby.  Kerrick and two other officers have been put on paid leave during the investigation.

FIRE PIT EXPLOSION KILLS MAN

Police say a man standing near a fire pit at a house in Fayetteville died after an explosion.  The explosion happened Saturday night in the front yard of a home where several people were standing around a fire pit. They say that the man was pronounced dead at the scene, and several other people had injuries that didn't appear life-threatening.  Further details weren't immediately available.

WOMAN CHARGED WITH DWI AFTER WRECK WITH CHILD ON BOARD

Gastonia authorities have charged a woman with driving while impaired with her children, for the second time in a month.   The Gaston Gazette reports that the 36-year-old woman was involved in a wreck Thursday with her 8-year-old child in the car. An officer said she was unsteady on her feet and smelled of alcohol. She’s being held on $10,000 bond on charges of DWI, misdemeanor child abuse, failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident and driving with a revoked license.    In August, the woman was charged with DWI and contributing to the delinquency of a minor after police said she and another mother went out drinking and left their children and other youngsters home alone.

STATE UPDATES LIFE-VEST RULES

If you go surfing, tubing or rafting without a life vest, you’ll no longer be on the wrong side of the law. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has decided to exempt surfboards, tubes, swimming rafts and inflatable toys from the requirement to carry personal flotation devices. The commission made the change at its August meeting, saying the rule didn’t significantly increase safety.  Paddleboards, kayaks, canoes and rowboats are not exempt and must have personal floatation devices for each person onboard.

SPORTS

The UNC Charlotte 49ers football team chalked up its first loss of the season Saturday, falling 40 to 13 to North Carolina Central.  A standing-room only crowed watched the game at Jerry Richardson Stadium. Charlotte falls to 2 and 1 on the year.

In Davidson, Lenoir Rhyne spoiled the Wildcats home opener Saturday night with a 34 to 18 victory.

The Carolina Panthers are in Buffalo today looking for their first win. Game time is 1 o’clock at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The Sprint Cup playoffs – the Chase for the Cup – begin today in Chicago.    NASCAR has told drivers and teams that attempts to "artificially alter" a race will face severe punishment. The warning came in the wake of fines and points deductions handed out to Michael Waltrip Racing last week for what NASCAR said was trying to manipulate the outcome of last week’s race at Richmond.  Meanwhile, amid all the accusations and confusion following last week’s race, NASCAR has decided to let one extra driver into the playoff Chase. Jeff Gordon of Hendrick Motorsports will get a chance to vie for the title even though he wasn’t in the original top 12.