CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The voluntary manslaughter case involving Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Officer Randall Kerrick is expected to have a first hearing in Superior Court on Thursday afternoon.
Kerrick is accused of shooting unarmed Jonathan Ferrell in northeast Charlotte back in September of 2013. Ferrell was seeking help after wrecking his car around 2:00 am.
Police say he banged on a woman's door and she called 911. That's when police say Kerrick and two other officers responded to the neighborhood and encountered Ferrell.
Police say Kerrick fired 12 shots and hit Ferrell ten times. Part of the encounter was recorded on dash cam, but it's been under seal and never viewed by the public. Kerrick is currently on suspension from CMPD.
Kerrick was charged by police the same day, but it took several months before a second grand jury indicted him in January.
Now nearly a year later, comes the first Superior Court hearing. The hearings are a routine administrative part of the court process. It usually takes a couple of minutes for attorneys to update the judge. Defendants are not required to appear.
However, the Kerrick case is different. Not only did police charge one of their own, it's also playing out in the national climate of protests and talk of injustice when it comes to officer involved shootings. The North Carolina Attorney General's Office is prosecuting the case.
Kerrick's attorneys, George Laughrun and Michael Greene, say their client is innocent and acted within the scope of his training when he used deadly force.
Jonathan Ferrell was a former FAMU football player who had recently moved to Charlotte and was engaged. His family has filed a civil lawsuit being heard in Federal Court saying his civil rights were violated when he was shot and handcuffed.