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WFAE's coverage of the case of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Randall Kerrick charged with voluntary manslaughter in the death of Jonathan Ferrell. The court case ended in a mistrial.

With Jury Seated, Opening Arguments in Kerrick Trial Begin Today

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Charlotte Observer
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After nearly two weeks of jury selection, opening arguments get underway today in the trial of former CMPD officer Randall Kerrick. Kerrick faces up to 11 years in prison for fatally shooting 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell two years ago.

A major element in the trial will be the police dash cam video that has not been released to the public. Ferrell’s family members who saw the tape say it will show that he was not a threat to the police who responded to a 911 call the night he was shot and killed. Ferrell had been involved in an early-morning car accident. Police believe he knocked on the door of a nearby home to seek help. The woman inside called 911, saying she thought Ferrell was a burglar. Kerrick was one of three responding officers. He shot Ferrell 10 times.

The defense says the shooting was justified and claim Ferrell was trying to take Kerrick’s gun. Defense attorneys also contend Ferrell was drinking the night of the shooting – although his blood-alcohol level was below the legal limit for driving.

It took a week and a half to get a full jury of seven whites, three African Americans and two Latinas. The four alternate jurors are all white.

Presiding Superior Court Judge Robert Ervin is allowing cameras in the courtroom and audio recording of the trial, but he turned down a media request for it to be streamed live. Reporters will also not be allowed to post to social media from the courtroom.

The trial is expected to last at least a month.