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Grand Jury Indicts Officer Who Struck And Killed Pedestrian

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

A grand jury has indicted a Charlotte police officer whose vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian while responding to a call near uptown in July. 

The Charlotte Observer reports that CMPD officer Philip Barker, 24, was indicted last month on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of 28-year-old James Michael Short.

That's a more serious charge than Barker originally faced. In late July, he was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. 

CMPD Chief Kerr Putney said in July that Barker was driving at up to 100 miles per hour when he sped through the intersection of Morehead Street and Euclid Avenue just after 3 a.m. on July 8.  He struck Short as he was trying to cross the street. 

Police said Barker was responding to a report of a wreck farther up Morehead Street. He had his lights and siren on and had a green light. Putney noted that the area has a 35 mph speed limit.

Barker's attorney says his client, who had a green light, should have only received a citation, The Observer reported. 

Barker is on leave without pay while the case proceeds.  He has been on the CMPD force less than two years and had completed new officer training only a couple of months before the wreck.