Trial date set for Charlotte officer accused in deadly shooting

Trial date set for Charlotte officer accused in deadly shooting
Randall Kerrick (Source: Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office)
Randall Kerrick (Source: Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office)
Jonathan Ferrell
Jonathan Ferrell

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A timeline has been set in the federal lawsuit against a Charlotte police officer after he shot and killed an unarmed man last year.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Randall Kerrick is accused of shooting Jonathan Ferrell ten times during an incident in Sept. 2013.

Ferrell, an unarmed Charlotte man who had wrecked his car in the Reedy Creek community in northwest Charlotte, knocked on the front door of a house apparently seeking help. The occupant frantically called 911 to report a home invasion.

Kerrick and three officers responded to the suspicious activity call and encountered Ferrell. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say Kerrick fired his gun 12 times, striking Ferrell ten times. He was charged with voluntary manslaughter after the shooting.

Attorneys for both sides met earlier this month to update the federal judge hearing the civil lawsuit filed by Ferrell's mother, Georgia. The lawsuit names Kerrick, the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and Chief Rodney Monroe.

The County is trying to remove itself from the lawsuit, claiming there is no cause because the County does not oversee the police department.

Judge Graham Mullen ordered the City to turn over several thousand pages of documents, including interviews and statements by Kerrick, to the Ferrell family attorney.

Two days later Mullen set the trial date, with several key deadlines in the case.

The jury trial is slated to begin on November 2, 2015 and is expected to last for 14 days, according to court documents.

In the pretrial order, Judge Mullen said that all discovery, or evidence in the case, was slated to be together by the end of March. All case motions would be due at the beginning of August, three months before the trial is to begin.

Already more than 7,000 pages of documents have been turned over to Kerrick's defense team of George Laughrun and Michael Greene.

Because of Judge Mullen's ruling earlier this month, those documents will be turned over to the Ferrell family attorney, as well, in the civil case.

There are 44 compact discs showing Ferrell's crash photos, his IPhone records, 911 radio traffic, and video of Kerrick's walk shot. There's also CMPD's DMVR recording, or what's commonly referred to as the dash cam.

The documents also describe at least two searches, or seizures of evidence. One of them required a search warrant, which tells us permission was not granted for the search, possibly by Kerrick.

The state also wants no surprises. Prosecutors requested a guaranteed disclosure of Kerrick's defense strategy before a trial starts. His attorneys have said the shooting was justified. For example, prosecutors want a list of all witnesses, experts and experiments which could come up in court.

In September, the city of Charlotte quietly stopped paying Kerrick's legal costs. In doing so, city leaders have backed out of an unusual courtroom dilemma – helping provide a civil lawsuit defense for an officer facing criminal charges filed by the city's Police Department.

A 20-second dash cam video reportedly captured the moments leading up to the shooting. City officials say Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Rodney Monroe ordered Kerrick's arrest after he and his top staff watched the footage.

Local civil rights activists have demanded authorities release a dash cam video.

A judge has given the state attorney general's office control on when and whether it is released. Protesters have been calling for the release of the video since the shooting.

Kerrick remains on unpaid leave.

Copyright 2014 WBTV. The Charlotte Observer staff contributed to this story. All rights reserved.