Graphic photos headline Kerrick trial on day 2 of testimony

Graphic photos headline Kerrick trial on day 2 of testimony

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Jurors saw graphic photographs of a deceased Jonathan Ferrell Tuesday during the trial of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer Randall "Wes" Kerrick, who officials say shot Ferrell ten times.

One photograph showed Ferrell face down in a ditch, with his hands in police handcuffs. Another photograph showed just a tight shot of Ferrell's hands in the cuffs.

Georgia Ferrell, Jonathan's mother, did not stay in the courtroom to view the photographs. Her younger son, Willie, kept his composure as he watched the jury see his brother's dead body.

When prosecutor Adran Harris tried to introduce more pictures of Ferrell's body into evidence for the jury to see, defense attorneys Michael Greene and George Laughrun objected.

Greene said the pictures were too repetitive and could gain sympathy for the State by swaying the jury. Judge Robert Ervin said he had to consider a "balance test" to determine what was fair.

The judge decided to limit some of the photographs and the State agreed to redact some portions.

Ferrell, 24, died on September 14, 2013 after an encounter with police in the Bradfield Farms neighborhood in east Mecklenburg.

Kerrick's defense attorneys say the shooting was justified and self-defense. Special prosecutors for the state argue it was excessive use of force.

CMPD Detective Robert Gormican also testified that Ferrell was driving at least 41 miles per hour when he wrecked his car on a stretch of road where the speed limit is 25. He testified that it was unlikely Ferrell kicked out the car's rear window to escape the wreckage.

Gormican said the window was more likely broken out by the impact with trees and vegetation.

A first responder also testified about arriving to the scene and finding Ferrell's body face down in the grass without a pulse. Kenneth Phillips said he was then directed to check on Kerrick.

"When we evaluated Officer Kerrick,  he was hyper-ventilating, he was pale, very sweaty," said Phillips. He added that it appeared Kerrick was in shock, which he said can be caused by a traumatic event or fear.

Phillips testified that Kerrick said very little. He asked the officer about some swelling on his jaw and a cut inside his mouth to which Phillips said, "His exact words were, 'he hit me.'"

The trial began Monday after nearly two weeks of jury selection.

Prosecutors say Ferrell ran off an unfamiliar road after dropping off a friend overnight. He banged on the door of a nearby neighbor, who believed Ferrell was a burglar and called 911.

Special Deputy Attorney General Adran Harris said when officers arrived and shone a red stun gun beam on Ferrell, he became scared and decided to run.

Harris said in opening statements that  Kerrick fired a series of four shots ten feet away. He said Ferrell fell at the feet of Kerrick and started crawling when Kerrick fired six more shots. Ferrell moved more, and Kerrick fired the final two.

Defense attorney Greene said DNA evidence will show there was a struggle for Kerrick's gun, as Ferrell "climbed" up the officer after they fell. He said the other officers believed Ferrell was acting erratically and said, "Shoot me, shoot me," when he saw police.

He said Ferrell made bad choices and forced Kerrick to make the ultimate choice to protect himself and others.

A crowded courtroom  heard opening statements and the first several witnesses in the case, including Ferrell sister, fiance, friends from work at Best Buy and the waitress who served him at Hickory Tavern before he was killed.

The woman who called 911 and the first firefighter on scene after the shooting also took the stand.

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