CMPD officer Randall Kerrick will not face a retrial for voluntary manslaughter, according to the North Carolina Attorney General's office.
Senior Deputy Attorney General Robert Montgomery writes that after speaking to jurors, the AG's office doesn't believe a retrial would get 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 says.
The judge declared a mistrial after jurors could not come to a unanimous decision. The jury was split 8-4, favoring acquittal.
Kerrick was on trial for the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell in September 2013. Kerrick shot Ferrell ten times after responding to a burglary call in a Charlotte neighborhood. Later, it was discovered Ferrell had crashed his car and had been looking for help.
Montgomery says the AG's office will submit paperwork to have Kerrick's voluntary manslaughter charge dismissed. The trial cost about $160,000.
With the dismissal of the charge, Kerrick's attorney's could petition to get back pay for him. Kerrick's attorney, George Laughrun told Fox 46 he applauded NC Attorney General Roy Cooper's office for taking politics out of the decision. Reporter Robin Kanady asked, “Mr. Laughrun, does he (Kerrick) still want to be a police officer?” Laughrun responded, “We never talked about that issue. I think the answer to that, probably through CMPD, would be no, given the way he was treated by command staff after the alleged incident and how he was treated given the hours and couple days after that.” Laughrun says the next step is to discuss with his client what they'll do about issues regarding his employment and back pay with CMPD. Kerrick has been on unpaid leave since the shooting.
CMPD Chief Kerr Putney released a statement after hearing from the Attorney General's office stating it is now standard procedure for CMPD Internal Affairs to conduct an investigation to determine if Kerrick followed all department policies and procedures. Putney said, "Our officers are expected to meet a high set of standards and they're responsible when those expectations aren't achieved." Putney says CMPD respects the constitutional rights of individuals wishing to express his or her opinion about the decision and says they will work to facilitate their right to assemble and demonstrate lawfully.
Before the trial began, the city of Charlotte settled with Ferrell's family, giving them $2.25 million. Charlotte's Mayor Dan Clodfelter and City Attorney Bob Hagemann announced the settlement in a press conference.
"The city remains saddened by Mr. Ferrell's death and sympathizes with his family," said Hagemann in that press conference. "While we realize that money is an inadequate means of compensating Mr. Ferrell's family, we feel that this was a fair and equitable settlement."
The District Attorney's office said they won't comment on the case because it was handled by the AG's office. “The DA’s Office, police and community groups are working together to engage in open conversations about the criminal justice system," a DA spokesperson wrote in a press release. "Charlotte has been uniquely proactive in these efforts, and as we move forward, we must continue to seek justice, build trust and strive toward a fair and equal system. This office is committed to working with all members of the community to ensure that the justice system works to the benefit of everyone.”
Charlotte Community Relations Executive Director Willie Ratchford responded to the attorney general's announcement to not retry Kerrick stating, "We recognize many may be disappointed after the attorney general's decision and many of us will be seeking ways to express our concerns." They suggest to attend a place of worship to address concerns in a constructive way.