Defense for Randall Kerrick Raises Concerns after Jury is shown Graphic Evidence

Jurors were shown graphic evidence Tuesday in the voluntary manslaughter trial of CMPD officer Randall Kerrick.

The mother of Jonathan Ferrell, the unarmed man who was shot and killed by Kerrick, had to leave the courtroom as a picture of her son’s lifeless body was shown.

The photo is raising concerns from the defense about getting a fair trial.

The defense did not outright ask the judge to declare a mistrial. But they claim that because the state is showing graphic evidence and jurors have seen Ferrell’s family get upset, that could cause the panel to make a decision based on emotion and not the law.

The judge pulled a few pictures from the rotation, saying prosecutors cannot use them because they are too graphic.

The jury saw a photo of Ferrell’s body as it was when first responders got to the scene. Paramedic Kenneth Phillips said, “We found him laying on the side of the road face down, hands cuffed behind his back. He was pulseless and non-breathing.”

Phillips also testified about injuries he saw on Kerrick. He said there was swelling around the officer’s jaw and a small cut on the inside of his mouth. He said Kerrick’s demeanor was “stoic, quiet, distraught.” Phillips said Kerrick appeared to be suffering from some sort of shock.

Phillips said, “He (Kerrick) was hyperventilating. He was pale, very sweaty. I think somebody on the scene took his blood pressure, but I’m not exactly sure. But they found that his blood pressure was really high, and he was very anxious.”

Another first responder talked about what Kerrick said to him that night about his scuffle with Ferrell. John Russell Freeze said, “His (Kerrick’s) exact words were, ‘He (Ferrell) hit me.”

The state claims Kerrick crossed the line, firing twelve shots at an unarmed Ferrell. The defense says Kerrick was protecting himself and the other officers that night. The jury will be the judge of what they believe happened.

If convicted of voluntary manslaughter, Kerrick faces up to 11 years in prison.


 

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