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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.

Kerrick Trial Update: Judge Sides With Prosecution In Photo Arguments

Update: 12:45 p.m.

The judge in the trial of Randall Kerrick today allowed state prosecutors to show jurors a graphic photo of Jonathan Ferrell after he had been shot 10 times.

Superior Court Judge Robert Ervin did not allow the picture to be shown on a large screen‑‑as others were displayed‑‑but the photo was passed around among jurors. It was described as a photo of Ferrell after he had been turned over from the ditch he was lying in. He hands were cuffed and blood was visible.

Ferrell had been in that position for about three and a half hours. A CMPD detective on the scene, Matt Hefner, said he looked different from the photo IDs they found in his pocket, when they rolled him over.

The defense argued that showing the picture would do nothing to educate the jury and that other photos of Ferrell’s body on the scene already introduced by the prosecution should suffice. Defense attorney Michael Greene said the picture would only serve to prejudice the jury against Kerrick.

“This is just pulling on the heartstrings of the jury,” Greene said. “This has nothing to do with evidence.”

State prosecutor Teresa Postell said the picture was a key piece of evidence for their case.

“The state is not doing this to evoke sympathy…the jury should see this. It doesn’t have to be (projected) on a screen,” she said.

In siding the prosecution, Judge Ervin told jurors to “view it with no comment to your neighbor but just pass it (the photo) on.”

Jurors were excused twice Tuesday while graphic photos were the subject of similar arguments. Judge Ervin issued a compromise ruling on what prosecutors could introduce.

The defense ask detective Heffner why Ferrell’s body remain in a ditch so long. Hefner said it was not his call to move the body. He said a supervisor called him around 6 a.m. and asked him to check Ferrell’s body for weapons. He said that was impossible to do without rolling him over because he was lying in the center of the ditch.

Hefner said no weapons were found on Ferrell. He also said that it was a CMPD SWAT officer who handcuffed Ferrell. He said that SWAT officer was the first officer to arrive on the scene after the shooting.