Attorneys dig deep in Kerrick jury selection

Jury selection continues in trial

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - By Tuesday afternoon, the first group of 12 potential jurors had been decided in the trial of a police officer accused of killing an unarmed man.

Officer Randall "Wes" Kerrick is charged with voluntary manslaughter for shooting Jonathan Ferrell ten times in 2013. Kerrick was one of three officers responding after a woman had called 911 to report a possible home invasion, with Ferrell pounding on her door.

Ferrell family attorneys have said Ferrell was seeking help after having wrecked his car.

The first group of potential jurors consists of  eight women and four men. They will still have to go through another round of questioning Wednesday. They could be dismissed by either side or by Judge Robert Ervin.

Some of the jurors were quickly excused because they expressed financial hardships that could affect their family and business.

One woman was excused with cause by Judge Ervin after he expressed concern about her social media postings. At first, the juror denied using social media to express opinions on police, but then defense attorney George Laughrun showed the woman a printed copy of her Facebook page, which seemed to show anti-law enforcement comments.

Both sides decided to keep another potential juror for the next round of questioning who is a retired police sergeant. The man said he wrote use of force policy for his department.

"I know the whole process, how it works," he said. "If you go from one level to the next," he said, "By God, you better have satisfied the requirements."

Defense attorneys George Laughrun and Michael Greene also released a statement saying they are "troubled" by the Ferrell family's comments at a press conference with their attorney, as the trial was starting.

Laughrun and Greene said Ferrell family attorney Christopher Chestnut has put out misinformation about the night Ferrell died.

The defense attorneys say Ferrell was trying to obtain Kerrick's service weapon and was on top of him. Chestnut says Ferrell was shot on his knees and said previously that his hands were up.

Potential jurors are asked not to watch any media coverage of the case to prevent any bias. They've also been questioned by both sides about whether they can ignore any previous information they have heard and focus solely on the facts presented in court.

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