Voluntary manslaughter charge against CMPD officer Randall 'Wes' Kerrick dismissed

5:30 pm: City responds to AG's decision not to retry Kerrick

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — What to know:

  • Randall "Wes" Kerrick will not be retried for killing Jonathan Ferrell after mistrial
  • North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced the decision Friday
  • Ferrell's family said the fight is not over
The streets of Charlotte were free of protestors Friday evening after Attorney General Roy Cooper announced his office had dropped voluntary manslaughter charges against Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Randall “Wes” Kerrick.  
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Cooper said his team of prosecutors reviewed the evidence and talked to the jury before making this decision on Thursday.

NC Attorney General Roy Cooper speaks on decision to not retry Randall 'Wes' Kerrick

In a news conference Friday, Cooper said his prosecutors believe unanimously that a retrial will not yield a different result.

One week ago, a Mecklenburg County jury deadlocked in Kerrick's trial.

Eight of those jurors believed Kerrick was not guilty, and four of them said he was guilty.

SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATES: Randall "Wes" Kerrick case

Cooper said prosecutors tried the case thoroughly and presented what they believe was a compelling case, but in the end, Cooper said the jury could not reach a unanimous decision and he says we must listen to what the jury said.

But Cooper said he still believes bringing Kerrick to trial was the right thing to do.

CLICK HERE to read more about the trial

"Officers must be held accountable when they do not follow their training, as what happened here with tragic results," Cooper said. "I understand the frustration. Our prosecutors were frustrated, but I think it's important that we listen to the jury.”

Cooper said if new evidence came forward against Kerrick, charges could be reinstated, but he said there's no indication of that at this point.

Channel 9 reporter Blake Hanson talked to Jonathan Ferrell’s mother and brother Friday morning.

Georgia Ferrell and Willie Ferrell said they found out from Attorney General's Office prosecutor Teresa Postell that the office would not retry Kerrick.

Georgia Ferrell had a message to the residents of North Carolina: “Continue to march. Do not roll over and play dead.”

Willie Ferrell said they are disappointed but not angry at the Attorney General's Officer. He said they explained they did not believe they could get a guilty verdict.


Channel 9 spoke with Kerrick's attorney about the decision to dismiss the charges against him. George Laughrun talked about Kerrick's response to the news.

“I talked to him briefly and he was obviously thrilled with the news. (He was) a little suspect because of what happened with the grand jury when they didn't indict him, but he is ready to obviously move on,” Laughrun said.

CMPD Internal Affairs will conduct an investigation to determine if Kerrick followed all department policies and procedures.


CMPD chief says department divided after mistrial

In a one-on-one-interview with CMPD Chief Kerr Putney Thursday, he told Channel 9 he was proud of how his officers handled the protests, but he said the case has created a rift within the department.

RAW: CMPD chief on moving department forward
He said his priority now is to rebuild confidence by listening and learning.

"The department is a reflection of Charlotte as a whole, and Charlotte is divided, there are divided opinions in the organization as well, sure," Putney said.

RAW: CMPD chief stands by decision to charge Kerrick

After seeing the dash cam video and other-evidence in the trial some say the department rushed to judgment after the shooting. Putney said he stands-by the initial-decision to file charges against Kerrick.

Read more here on what Putney had to say to Channel 9.

Kerrick case background

Randall "Wes" Kerrick is accused of shooting and killing unarmed Jonathan Ferrell on Sept. 14, 2013.

Three officers were called to the 7500 block of Reedy Creek Road in east Mecklenburg County around 2:30 that morning. A woman told police Ferrell was banging on her front door.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said Ferrell ran toward the officers when they arrived. One of the officers deployed his Taser, but it was unsuccessful. Kerrick fired his weapon 12 times at close range. Ten of the shots hit Ferrell, killing him.

Police later discovered a wrecked car that Ferrell was driving about 500 yards away. Officers say Ferrell was unarmed.

Around 9:30 p.m. Sept. 14, 2013, Kerrick was charged with voluntary manslaughter, marking the first time an officer in Charlotte had been charged with manslaughter for actions on duty.

Kerrick was released from jail on a $50,000 bond. He remains suspended without pay from CMPD.

Ferrell, a former football player at Florida A&M University, was living in Charlotte with his fiancée. A toxicology report released in November showed Ferrell had 60 mg/dl of ethanol in his system, equal to a .06 if blown during a DWI check point. The legal limit in North Carolina is .08.

The Ferrell family filed a civil suit against the city, county, CMPD and former Police Chief Rodney Monroe on Jan. 14, 2014. The suit was settled in May 2015 for $2.25 million.

George Laughrun and Michael J. Greene will represent Kerrick. His attorneys were hired by the Fraternal Order of Police.