NC AG To seek voluntary manslaughter charge against CMPD Officer - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

NC AG To seek voluntary manslaughter charge against CMPD Officer

Posted: Updated:
Randall Kerrrick Randall Kerrrick
Jonathan Ferrell Jonathan Ferrell

Prosecutors handling the case of a fatal officer-involved shooting say they are taking the case before the Mecklenburg County Grand Jury to seek an indictment on a voluntary manslaughter charge against Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Randall Kerrrick.

The announcement came Monday after Special Prosecutors in Attorney General Roy Cooper's Office agreed to handle the case.

Jonathan Akeen Pierre Ferrell was fatally shot by Officer Kerrick in early September. Investigators told WBTV that Officer Kerrick fired his weapon 12 times and struck Ferrell 10 times, resulting in his death.

Kerrick was charged with voluntary manslaughter in Mecklenburg County and is on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation. Now that the case is in the hands of the State, it must be taken before a Grand Jury for the charges.

Kerrick's attorney, George Laughrun spoke to the media after viewing the dash cam video of the night Ferrell was shot. The video has not been made public.

"The officers gave several verbal commands to 'get on the ground, get on the ground', at least three commands," he said. "He continued approaching the officers, advancing toward them."

Laughrun said the video shows Ferrell never put his hands up.

"His hands were not up in the air," he recalled. "At one time, one of his hands was behind his back."

When WBTV spoke to the Ferrell family attorney Chris Chestnut on Tuesday, his recount of that dash cam video focused on the sequence of gunfire.

"No, he didn't panic," he said. "He knew what he was doing. He shot, paused, shot again. Paused, shot again -- he killed."

Chestnut also pointed out that Ferrell was clearly outnumbered that night.

"It was three on one," he said. "It's three on one. These are trained officers, trained in defensive tactics. Three to one, no need to shoot."

The state released the autopsy and toxicology reports of Jonathan Akeen Pierre Ferrell in late November.

The autopsy report says Ferrell died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds of the chest. The toxicology report shows Ferrell had caffeine, nicotine and ethanol is his system.

Chesnut said in November that it wouldn't matter what the toxicology report would show. He said Officer Kerrick didn't know Ferrell's state and didn't take the time to ask before he shot him.

After seeing the report, Chesnut told WBTV it "Confirms that this is murder."

Chesnut added, "Officer shot at a downward angle front to back."

Copyright 2014 WBTV. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow