CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Officer Randall Kerrick had his first appearance before a Mecklenburg County judge Tuesday afternoon.
He was not required to show up, and he didn’t. He was represented by prominent defense attorneys George Laughrum and Michael Greene.
”We’re going to allow this case to be tried in a court of law. However, we’re confident that in the resolution of the case it will be found that Mr. Kerrick’s actions were justified on the night in question,” said Greene.
Kerrick is facing a voluntary manslaughter charge for gunning down 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell.
The former Florida A&M football player had a car accident early Saturday morning on Reedy Creek Road and banged on a resident’s door to get help.
That homeowner called 911, perhaps thinking someone was trying to break into the house.
Sources say that Ferrell walked toward the officers, and then one of them pointed a taser light in his direction. At that point, Ferrell allegedly ran toward Kerrick, who fired.
”It’s not a justified shooting, especially when the two officers flanking you don’t shoot at all. And the sequence of shooting—four shots, pause—shot six more times, pause—shot twice more. That’s not justified,” said attorney Christopher Chestnut, who represents the family.
Chestnut was at the courthouse to monitor Tuesday’s developments.
He says the family met with CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe Monday, and was allowed to see dash cam video of the incident.
”I don’t think this was panic. I think this was an opportunity. I think some people are gung-ho to shoot someone. I think that’s a feather in their cap. I think he saw this as an opportunity to take a life and be justified in it,” said Chestnut.
He says Ferrell’s mother couldn’t watch the video, but he applauded Chief Monroe for being open.
”He has afforded the family the opportunity to see some of the evidence, which is unprecedented, as is the arrest. It helped the family significantly in their grieving process,” he said.
Kerrick’s next court appearance is scheduled for October 7.