Attorney General: State not pursuing 2nd trial for Charlotte police officer who shot unarmed man

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The white Charlotte, North Carolina police officer charged with voluntary manslaughter in the death of an unarmed black man in 2013, will not get a second trial following a mistrial last week.

It was revealed in a letter from the North Carolina Attorney General's Office to Charlotte District Attorney Andrew Murray on Friday that the state would not pursue a second trial for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer Randall Kerrick in connection with Jonathan Ferrell's death.

Jonathan Ferrell

After four days of deliberations, the racially diverse jury was deadlocked, 7-5 on an initial vote and 8-4 on the succeeding three votes. And when Judge Robert C. Ervin asked the jury foreman if further deliberations would resolve the impasse, the response was no. Ervin then declared a mistrial - a move that sparked protests outside the courthouse and elsewhere. At least two people were arrested.


According to Friday's letter, the eight jurors voted for acquittal and four jurors for conviction on the charge of voluntary manslaughter.

The Attorney General's Office said after considering "the jurors' comments, the evidence available to the State, and our background in criminal trials, it is our prosecutors' unanimous belief a retrial will not yield a different result."

"While our prosecutors tried to seek a conviction, it appears a majority of the jurors did not believe the criminal conviction was the appropriate verdict," the letter went on to say. "Our prosecutors believe they were able to introduce the relevant evidence and examine the witnesses, including the defendant, appropriately and that the jury fully considered the details of the case. However, meeting the standard of proof of beyond a reasonable doubt could not be achieved."

The Attorney General's Office said it will submit a dismissal of the charge which will complete disposition of the case.


Kerrick had faced up to 11 years in prison.

Prosecutors said the 29-year-old used deadly force when he shot and killed Ferrell in September 2013. They say nonlethal force should have been used to subdue the former Florida A&M football player. Two officers with Kerrick didn't fire their guns.

But Kerrick's attorneys said the officer feared for his life when he shot and killed Ferrell while responding to a breaking-and-entering call.

The case was one of several in recent years that raised questions about police use of deadly force against black men.

Police said Ferrell wrecked his car on the morning of Sept. 14, 2013, went to a nearby house and banged on the door, apparently for help. The resident inside the home called police, and three officers responded. Investigators say one officer deployed his Taser without apparent effect on Ferrell before Kerrick fired 12 shots, 10 of which hit him. Kerrick was the only officer who fired his .40-caliber semiautomatic service weapon.

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