Attorney: Stop new grand jury hearing against CMPD officer

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Attorneys for Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Randall Kerrick submitted a motion for a hearing to prevent the state attorney general's office from resubmitting a voluntary manslaughter charge against him.
 
The AG's office is scheduled to go before a second grand jury on Monday.
 
After meeting for eight hours Tuesday, a grand jury submitted a document to the criminal clerk of court saying it will not indict Kerrick on the charge of voluntary manslaughter related to the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell.
 
A letter on the second page said the grand jury respectfully requested the district attorney submit a bill of indictment to a lesser, included or related offense.
 
Kerrick was charged with voluntary manslaughter in the September shooting death of former Florida A&M football player Jonathan Ferrell.
 
Ferrell was unarmed when Kerrick shot him 10 times.
 
In the motion filed at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, Kerrick's attorneys argued the state doesn't have the authority to go through the indictment process again on the same charge and that prosecutors can't dismiss the findings of the first grand jury.
 
They also argued the attorney general has violated Kerrick's right to a fair trial through his public comments about the case and they claim the public comments have influenced the grand jury scheduled to convene on Jan. 27.
 
"I think it's fair to assume that the majority of grand jurors will know what they are coming to do on Monday now," said legal analyst Tony Scheer.
 
Scheer told Channel 9 potential jurors may know about the case, but that pre-existing knowledge would only be dangerous for a trial.
 
Sheer thinks the fight over the motion will be spirited, but he doesn't think it will come out in Kerrick's favor.
 
"I don't see how under the law, under our constitution, they can block a second grand jury from looking at this charge under these circumstance," said Scheer.
 
Scheer said cases have gone repeatedly before a grand jury for hundreds of years.
 
The AG's office released the following statement: "Our prosecutors believe the law is clear that we can resubmit this case to the grand jury. Attorneys from our office are prepared to be in court Monday to argue against this motion."
 
The family of Jonathan Ferrell released a statement Friday: "There is no constitutional basis for a judge to deny a grand jury the right to hear this case as it is clear that jeopardy did not attach following the actions of the first grand jury. It appears that this motion was filed solely because Randall Kerrick's attorneys feel their client will be indicted once the full grand jury properly considers the evidence in this case when it convenes on Monday. We are confident that the motion will be denied and that the case will be heard by the grand jury on Monday as scheduled."