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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.

Sun. Headlines: Post-Trial Protests, Man Admits Running Illegal Music Site

Protester arrested 8/22 outside Bank of America stadium
Jeff Siner
/
The Charlotte Observer

A 23-year-old Charlotte man who owned a music-sharing website has pleaded guilty to copyright infringement. Rocky Ouprasith admitted to illegally trading more than $2.5 million worth of material on his RockDizMusic-dot-com.

Federal prosecutors say Ouprasith operated the website RockDizMusic.com from May 2011 to October 2014. Ouprasith admitted obtaining copies of copyrighted songs and albums from online sources and encouraged others to upload music to the website.  The music included copies of popular songs and albums before they were commercially available.

Ouprasith pleaded guilty Friday at Federal Court in Norfolk, Virginia, and faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he’s sentenced on Nov. 17. See the Department of Justice announcement at http://www.justice.gov/

3 ARRESTED IN POST-TRIAL PROTESTS

A second night of protests remained mostly peaceful in Charlotte Saturday night following Friday’s mistrial in the voluntary manslaughter case of a white Charlotte police officer accused of shooting an unarmed black man two years ago.  

On Saturday night, one person was charged with assaulting a police officer, but police said protests were peaceful throughout the evening. Two people were arrested Friday night after protests in downtown Charlotte, where officials said some protesters threw rocks at police.  

Demonstrators were protesting the jury’s failure to convict officer Randall Kerrick, who killed Jonathan Ferrell in east Charlotte two years ago. The jury deadlocked Friday, with 8 votes in favor of acquittal and 4 against. The jury was unable to agree whether Kerrick used excessive force when he fired 12 shots at Ferrell, hitting him 10 times.

Meanwhile, several jurors told The Charlotte Observer this weekend they agreed not to make race part of their deliberations.  One juror who voted in favor of convicting Kerrick said he was unhappy that the defense put Ferrell on trial. Moses Wilson said the prosecution’s case should have stood, but Kerrick’s defense lawyers put Ferrell on trial for not knowing what to do to avoid being beaten or shot to death.=

With the case ending in a mistrial, it’s now up to prosecutors to decide if they think it’s worth trying Kerrick a second time. In a statement Saturday, his lawyers said they hope the state will drop the case, and they criticized former police chief Rodney Monroe and local news media over statements about the case.

See full coverage of the Kerrick trial on WFAE.org. And WFAE will have more on the case tomorrow, including a special segment of Charlotte Talks at 9 am.  See a preview on WFAE.org.

MAN ADMITS KILLING CMPD OFFICER

A convicted felon accused of shooting a North Carolina police officer in Fort Mill last year has agreed to a plea deal which could lead to 34 years in prison. The Herald of Rock Hill cites court documents saying 33-year-old James William Lewis signed an agreement Friday with federal prosecutors admitting that he shot Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Shane Page as he and other officers were attempting to arrest him in connection with an armed robbery in Pineville, North Carolina.

POLICE KILL MAN WHO CHARGED WITH KNIFE

Police shot and killed a man in Wake Forest Saturday after he charged them with a knife. 38-year-old Alan Joseph Rushton died Saturday at WakeMed hospital in Raleigh. Police were called to the Rushton’s home and found him barricaded in his room.  Rushton, who is white, charged police with the knife when they tried to arrest him. The officer also was white.

PROTESTS TARGET PLANNED PARENTHOOD CLINICS

Anti-abortion activists protested Saturday outside Planned Parenthood clinics across the Carolinas, part of a series of protests around the country. The protesters said they wanted to call attention to secretly taped videos that show Planned Parenthood officials elsewhere discussing the collection of fetal organs for research. Regional officials say no clinic in North Carolina participated in tissue donation.  Planned Parenthood officials contend that any tissue donations are legal and ethical, as federal law allows abortion providers to be paid for processing fees.

PANTHERS BEAT MIAMI; LOGAN WINS BRISTOL

The Carolina Panthers squeaked by the Miami Dolphins, 31 to 30, in a pre-season game Saturday night at Bank of America Stadium. 

Joey Logano won Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race under the lights at Bristol Motor Speedway. It was his third victory of the season. Logan also won the same race a year ago. Sprint Cup points leader Kevin Harvick finished second.