Kerrick cross-examined in deadly shooting trial, testifies 'nothing else' he could do

RAW: Randall 'Wes' Kerrick testifies (Part 1)
Published: Aug. 14, 2015 at 3:34 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2015 at 3:34 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - "There's absolutely nothing else I could have done," Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Officer Randall "Wes" Kerrick said Friday while on trial for fatally shooting Jonathan Ferrell two years ago.

Day two of Officer Randall Wes Kerrick's testimony started with the same tone as day one. He became emotional when he explained he found out his wife was pregnant four days after he shot Jonathan Ferrell. The prosecution asked tough questions of the man who is charged with voluntary manslaughter.

Thursday Kerrick took the stand in his own defense, Friday he faced cross examination. The two days of testimony felt very different. The first day his attorney, Michael Greene asked the questions. Kerrick was able to connect and gain sympathy from the jury. But the second day, the state's Teresa Postell hammered Kerrick. She pointed out inconsistencies in what Kerrick told police the day the shooting occurred and what he's telling the jury now.

WATCH KERRICK'S TESTIMONY: Day One: Part 1 | Day One: Part 2 | Day One: Part 3 | Day One: Part 4 | Day Two: Part 1 | Day Two: Part 2 | Day Two: Part 3 | Day Two: Part 4 | Day Two: Part 5 | Day Two: Part 6

The last time Randall Wes Kerrick used his lights and siren on September 14th, 2013 his dash cam was rolling on the way to Reedy Creek Road. The jury saw that short video, where Kerrick looks like he is speeding and he hears the dispatcher give a description of the suspect.

Kerrick turned it off at the scene. He said originally there was nothing to see.

Postell made it look like Kerrick had something to hide. She pummeled him over three hours about why he remembered details differently now, compared to when he was questioned by police.

She drilled him on his first police statement and how far Jonathan Ferrell was when he started shooting.

"I'm on the top of page 12, within say 10 feet, you shot him right?" Postell asked.

"Yes, ma'am, I used the term within 10 feet. Three to five feet is within 10 feet," Kerrick answered.

The prosecution was trying to show the evidence doesn't support Kerrick's distance claims by showing the blood on Kerrick's uniform or lack of blood. Kerrick claimed he continue to shoot because Ferrell was still going after his gun.

"The first rounds that I fired, I thought I fired four to six rounds." Kerrick said. "And then two rounds on the ground, and I had no idea that I was striking him until the last round was fired. That's when the threat stopped."

But the prosecution asked how could that be.

"He was dying wasn't he?" Postell asked.

"He was still advancing towards me at this time," Kerrick said.

"He was dying wasn't he?" Postell asked again.

"Objection your honor," said the defense.

"Ma'am, I did not know he was dying," Kerrick said.

"But he was, wasn't he," Postell said.

At times, Judge Robert Ervin called the line of questioning from prosecutor Postell argumentative, but it may have also been effective to gain ground with the jury.

Postell challenged Kerrick on variations in his account about Ferrell's speed, his own speed, when commands were given. Kerrick did push back about why he said what he said right after the shooting.

"This was taken just a little bit after I was in a fight for my life. I'm sorry if there's a few inconsistencies," Kerrick said.

Criminal lawyer, Monroe Whitesides said it makes sense for the prosecution not to hold back because the prosecution believes Kerrick used excessive force.

"They believe he should go to jail. They're going to go after him in that fashion," Whitesides said.

After the morning break, Kerrick was still answering the prosecution's questions.

"It's hard to remember, right?" asked special prosecutor, Teresa Postell.

"I live it every day, ma'am," Kerrick responded.

Postell pointed out that Kerrick told jurors different answers than what he gave detectives hours after the shooting when investigators conducted a taped interview with Kerrick. The prosecutor asked about Kerrick about the distance between he and Ferrell, and also Ferrell's positioning on Kerrick's body.

On the distance between them:

During the taped police interview, Kerrick said "when he got withing I'd say 10 feet of me I fired. I fired my duty weapon. It did not faze him. He kept coming towards me. I fired again."

On the stand Thursday Kerrick testified "when he got within arms reach... 3-to-5 feet from me... I pulled my service weapon."

On Ferrell's location on or near Kerrick:

Kerrick in the taped police interview said "he lunges at me, gets me over by feet. I felt a jerk on my gun."

In court he told jurors "he {Ferrell} was on the lower half on my body. His shoulders about my waist."

Whitesides said Officer Kerrick needs to come across as believable and the jury has to believe Kerrick feared for his life. He says Kerrick testifying is the lynchpin of this case.

"If they believe him then he'll get an acquittal. If they don't believe him, you'll either get a hung jury or a guilty verdict," Whitesides said.

Whitesides says he has been speaking with other lawyers who are observing this case and they all believe this could end in multiple ways.

"There's lots of things he could have done outside of deadly force, and yet he chose to use deadly force which is why he's being prosecuted," Whitesides said, "I'm still waiting for a defense expert to come in and say that he used reasonable force. They may put an expert on next to say that he heard Officer Kerrick's testimony, heard the testimony of the other officers and in his opinion deadly force was necessary."

But Whitesides added it doesn't matter how many experts take the stand and give their opinion. The only opinion that truly matters is the jury's opinion.


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