On Wednesday defense attorneys for a CMPD officer charged with shooting and killing an unarmed black man lost an argument for a second time to have the trial moved out of Mecklenburg County.
Randall Kerrick is charged in the 2013 shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell.
The defense said Kerrick can't get a fair trial in the county because the City of Charlotte has already $2.25 million to settle a civil suit with Ferrell's family, and they've hired a consultant to shape public opinion on the trial. The prosecution says that person is a consultant and not a commentator on the trial.
Kerrick's attorneys say the potential jury pool consists of taxpayers who have already been burdened by the city's costs for the settlement and that consultant. Defense attorney Michael Greene said in court, “The argument is not now that that doesn't solve the problem because of publicity. The argument now is that you have an actual harm done to the taxpaying citizens. You've placed a financial burden on them.”
The judge denied the change of venue motion saying he doesn't think moving the trial to a neighboring county would solve the problem of jurors who have seen media coverage of the case.
The judge also denied a defense request for a gag order. And the judge required the state to hand over internal affairs documents for one of the prosecution's expert witnesses. He plans to review those to determine if the defense can have access to them.
Kerrick’s trial is scheduled to start on July 20.