CHARLOTTE, N.C. – CMPD Officer Randall “Wes” Kerrick’s attorneys were at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse Monday morning, trying to stop a second grand jury from reviewing the case against their client. But a judge refused to block the proceedings. Hours later, jurors indicted Kerrick on one count of voluntary manslaughter. Kerrick’s attorneys declined to comment on the decision. Attorney General Roy Cooper didn’t offer much either, only saying in part, “The grand jury came to its decision after hearing evidence from the State Bureau of Investigation and Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department…”
Grand Jury proceedings are not public, but we know jurors heard more evidence Monday than they did last Tuesday. We also know there were four witnesses Monday: two investigators from CMPD and two from the SBI. Last week, there were only two witnesses. There was also a full panel of 18 Monday instead of last week’s 14. Only 12 are needed by law.
Charles Monnett is one of the attorneys representing the Ferrell family. He says, “Purely the numbers are in our favor this time. It’s a lot easier to get 12 people out of 18 than it is to get 12 out of 14 to agree. And I think the Attorney General’s office went in with a renewed commitment to make sure that they presented the evidence the grand jury needed this time to reach the correct decision.”
The Charlotte chapter president of the NAACP called the first grand jury’s decision not to indict a “testament to the level of racism in this city.” WCCB asked Ferrell’s mother if she agreed. Georgia Ferrell replied, “I had no feelings about it ’cause I felt like things were gonna work out. I had no feelings about it, it didn’t bother me because I knew I needed to keep the faith. It was just a small thing, things would work out.”
Ferrell’s brother says his family is focused on one thing: Faith. Willie Ferrell says, “With my faith and belief in God, I know that He’s gonna take care of everything.”
A trial date has not been set. Ferrell’s family filed a wrongful death civil suit earlier this month. It names Officer Kerrick, CMPD and the city of Charlotte.