• Protesters march in uptown after mistrial in Kerrick trial

    By: Mark Becker


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A judge declared a mistrial Friday afternoon in case of Randall “Wes” Kerrick's voluntary manslaughter trial in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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


    12:40 p.m. UPDATE: Officer Kerrick's defense counsel released a statement Saturday:

    We, defense counsel for Officer Randall Wesley Kerrick would first like to thank the jury for its thoughtful deliberations in this case.  Officer Kerrick and his family have always respected the criminal justice system that they have worked for their entire lives.  All of the jurors, regardless of how they voted, were cautious, considerate and deliberate.  It is citizens such as these that make our justice system work.  We thank you.

    Click here to read the entire statement.

    8 a.m. UPDATE: CMPD released the email Chief Kerr Putney sent to members of the police department after the judge declared a mistrial:

    Today, the jury in the Randall Kerrick trial did not reach a unanimous verdict. I want to thank the countless professionals who responded to the scene of this incident on September 14, 2013, and have worked it tirelessly since that night. The time that has passed since that date has been challenging to CMPD and has cast an enormous spotlight on our agency, our policies, and our people. We have faced those challenges head on and will continue to do so. 

    This was a tragic event that changed the lives of many, both in the community and within our CMPD family. The decision to arrest and charge Randall Kerrick was not made unilaterally, nor did it occur in a vacuum. It was a painful but necessary decision reached by people both within the CMPD and in consultation with the District Attorney's office. This decision was based on the facts of the case which led to probable cause, according to North Carolina state statute. 

    As police officers, we must abide by the law and be responsible for our actions. I believe that we as an organization did what was right for our agency and our community. The decision for any future criminal proceedings in this case rests with the North Carolina Attorney General's office. We will continue to support their efforts.    
    There are differing opinions surrounding the events of that night and our subsequent response. I understand and respect each of your opinions and your right to express them. Our commitment and service to each other and to the community will not end after one incident, nor should it. 

    There is work yet to be done within this community and our organization. I am proud of the resiliency and resolve of our police officers in what they do every day to the service of our community.   
    Over the coming days, I will be scheduling opportunities for us to talk about concerns or questions you may have, and to chart our path forward.  

    Kerr Putney
    Chief of Police

    A CMPD captain said what started as a peaceful protest outside the courthouse Friday shifted to a younger, more aggressive crowd.

    CMPD arrested two people in the protest, because they were throwing rocks at officers.
    There has been talk of other demonstrations over the weekend, but no clear plans yet.

    12:07 a.m. Saturday UPDATE: Charlotte-Mecklenburg police released the following statement regarding the protests Friday night after the mistrial in the voluntary manslaughter trial of Randall "Wes" Kerrick:

    The goal of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department following the decision in the Randall Kerrick trial was to maintain a safe environment for our community and for those who wished to exercise their right to lawfully demonstrate.

    Our strategic operations plan was coordinated through the CMPD command center in conjunction with local partners.  The command center was operational from 3:00 p.m. through 11:45 p.m., on August 21, 2015.

    CMPD officers immediately began to encounter peaceful protesters following court proceedings and worked with organizers to facilitate lawful demonstrations. Officers subsequently observed the crowd transition from peaceful protestors to a younger, more aggressive group of demonstrators as the events of the night developed.

    At approximately 9:00 p.m., demonstrators began throwing rocks at officers. The CMPD Civil Emergency Unit was deployed, quickly deescalated the situation and restored order.

    There were two suspects arrested for assault on officers during the hours of operation of the command center. The officers assaulted were not seriously injured.

    CMPD said two people were arrested during the protests for assault on officers. The officers were not seriously injured.

    11:52 p.m. UPDATE: The Charlotte Knights released the following statement regarding the protests near the BB&T Ballpark Friday night:

    "The Charlotte Knights ballgame this evening experienced citizens protesting today’s verdict. I would like to commend CMPD and the numerous officers that managed the situation in a professional and orderly fashion. I would like to also commend our Knights staff, our Show Pros employees and the many others that helped diffuse a challenging situation.

    "Our fans were extremely cooperative and understanding with the adjustments we made to ensure everyone’s safety. This has been a very difficult day for many in the Charlotte community, and we all pray for the healing of all of our citizens.”

    11:45 p.m. UPDATE: Protesters have left uptown Charlotte after marching for more than five hours Friday night.

    Channel 9 will have the latest developments on this on Eyewitness News Saturday Morning.

    11:03 p.m. UPDATE: Charlotte Area Transit System closed the Charlotte Transportation Center.

    Customers wanting CATS bus service should go to the Carson Station on Carson Street.

    All buses will operate service from the Carson Station location. Customers should expect delays.

    Normal service from the Charlotte Transportation Center will resume Saturday morning.

    LYNX Blue Line light rail service will continue to operate service to the 7th Street Station.

    10:44 p.m. UPDATE: Fans were able to leave BB&T Ballpark Friday night after protesters gathered outside the gates.


    10:22 p.m. UPDATE: Police were seen wearing protective gear in uptown Charlotte during protests after the mistrial in the voluntary manslaughter trial of Randall “Wes” Kerrick.

    Protesters were asked to leave the transit center in uptown Charlotte. A Channel 9 field producer reported most protesters left after the announcement.


    Protesters were again marching toward the BB&T Ballpark.

    10:08 p.m. UPDATE: One of our producers who is in the field captured a photo of a person in cuffs at the transit center in uptown Charlotte:


     He also reported that an announcement on the loudspeaker at the transit center stated “You have five minutes to leave the area or you’ll be subject to arrest.”

    10:03 p.m. UPDATE: Reporter Tina Terry, who has been following the protesters throughout Friday night, reported that she has not seen anyone arrested during the protests.

    Charlotte Area Transit System reported that Gold Line was suspended Friday night for security concerns.

    About 100 people were gathered at the transit center late Friday night. Protesters did break through a blockade at the center.


    9:56 p.m. UPDATE: We are following protesters in uptown Charlotte.

    9:37 p.m. UPDATE: Channel 9 is following protesters in uptown Charlotte on Friday night after a mistrial was declared in the voluntary manslaughter trial of Randall “Wes” Kerrick.

    Protests have grown in Charlotte throughout the afternoon.

    6:18 p.m. UPDATE: Mayor Dan Clodfelter held a news conference after the family of Jonathan Ferrell spoke to address Charlotte.

    "You must keep your ears, your minds and your hearts open to others who may feel differently," he said.

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief Kerr Putney also addressed the community.

    “As a department, we share a strong relationship with our community. A relationship built on trust and respect,” Putney said.


    6:09 p.m. UPDATE: The family of Jonathan Ferrell spoke to the media outside the Mecklenburg County courthouse after a mistrial was declared in the voluntary manslaughter trial of Randall "Wes" Kerrick.

    Ferrell’s brother, Willie, said he is fighting day in and day out to get justice for Jonathan.

    Protesters shut down streets around the courthouse after the mistrial was declared.

    Willie Ferrell told the crowd to not promote violence.

    “Our family is not violent,” he said.

    4:58 p.m. UPDATE: The jury split 8-4 for a not guilty verdict. 

    4:55 p.m. UPDATE: Jonathan Ferrell's family is expected to speak shortly after judge declares mistrial.


    4:33 p.m. UPDATE:
    Protestors are demonstrating outside the courthouse after the judge declares a mistrial. Fourth Street is closed due to the protests.

    IMAGES: Protesters host die-in on Fourth Street after Kerrick mistrial

    4:29 p.m. UPDATE:
    Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter and CMPD Chief Kerr Putney will hold a press conference at the Government Center at 5:15 p.m.

    4:18 p.m. UPDATE: The judge had declared a mistrial.

    3 p.m. UPDATE: The judge brought the jury back into the courtroom to get an update on their deliberations.

    The jury said they have had productive discussions. The judge then told them to continue deliberating.

    12:05 p.m. UPDATE:
    The jury in the Kerrick trial are deadlocked. The jury said they have taken three votes and are still deadlocked.

    The jury handed the judge a note Friday afternoon indicating that they couldn't come to a conclusion.

    “After many days and hours of deliberations we have not been able to come to a definitive conclusion. Our positon has remained deadlocked,” the note read.

    Defense attorney George Laughrun has asked for a mistrial, but prosecutors objected.

    <object id="myExperience4436990329001" class="BrightcoveExperience">
      <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" />
      <param name="width" value="300" />
      <param name="height" value="169" />
      <param name="playerID" value="1885717126001" />
      <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAVzySnGE~,GJOLLPGiYiE4yJXtQU0a40DR9fKXyfCH" />
      <param name="isSlim" value="true" />
      <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" />
        <param name="@videoPlayer" value="4436990329001" />

    The jury said they haven taken three votes -- the first was 7-5, the next two were 8-4.

    The judge has sent the jury back to continue their work.



    9:50 a.m. UPDATE:
    All the defense attorneys, prosecutors and judge went into the judge's chambers Friday morning after the judge received a note from the jury.

    Jurors continued to deliberate at 9:30 a.m. Friday for the fourth day in the manslaughter trial of CMPD officer Randall “Wes” Kerrick.

    Even if just one juror doesn't agree with the rest it could derail the verdict.

    For the last two days, the jurors have asked the judge to review past evidence and requested new evidence.

    Legal expert James Wyatt said the personal opinions following the jurors into the deliberation room are also affect their decisions.

    "If someone has a strongly held belief about this case, whether that is based on the evidence or the evidence and their natural predisposition, it's going to be hard to move them," Wyatt said. 

    Wyatt said it’s too early to tell whether there will be a hung jury.

    Trial costs:

    Criminal superior court costs $6,200 a day and the 16 jury members have been paid almost $13,000. Other added costs and fees bring the total to $160,000. That number doesn't include county costs, which cover courthouse facilities and bailiffs.

    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.

    Recent stories:

    Channel 9 will have a team of reporters covering the Kerrick trial each day. Follow @wsoctv on Twitter for continuous updates.

    Twitter handles for reporters who will be covering the trial:

    Click here to see a timeline of events in this case

    Next Up: