- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - A grand jury has indicted a Charlotte police officer for voluntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of an unarmed former Florida A&M; football player.

The indictment was handed down Monday hours after a judge ruled the North Carolina Attorney General’s office could resubmit the case to a grand jury.

Investigators say Randall Kerrick shot 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell on Sept. 14 as Ferrell looked for help after a car crash.

Attorneys for Ferrell’s family praised the decision.

“There is a tremendous sense of relief for the family. We are very thankful that the grand jury carefully considered the evidence and returned the indictment,” said Charles Monnett III.

In a statement, the family said it would continue to monitor the case.

“We will persevere in our quest for justice for not just Jonathan, but all law abiding citizens. After all, what happened to him that night could happen to any of us,” the statement said.

Last week, a Mecklenburg County grand jury refused to indict the 27-year-old Kerrick, a former animal control officer, on a voluntary manslaughter charge.

Attorney General Roy Cooper decided to send the case to another grand jury because the first grand jury was missing four members.

Kerrick’s lawyers filed a motion Friday to stop it, arguing prosecutors cannot resubmit a case.

During a court hearing Monday, Senior Deputy Attorney General James Coman said there was nothing in state law that blocks prosecutors from resubmitting the case.

“Our position is clear. We can go back to a grand jury,” he said.

Judge Robert Bell agreed.

“They have the right to go back to a grand jury,” Bell said.

At the end of the hearing, one of Kerrick’s attorneys, George Laughrun, asked the judge to issue a gag order. He said public comments from prosecutors and attorneys for the victim’s family were making it difficult for his client to get a fair trial.

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