- Associated Press - Thursday, August 13, 2015

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The latest on the trial of a white Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of an unarmed black man seeking help after a crash in September 2013 (all times local):


5:15 p.m.

The white Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer on trial for the shooting death of an unarmed black man says he kept shooting at the man because the man kept charging toward him.

Officer Randall Kerrick fought back tears as he gave his accounts of what happened on Sept. 14, 2013.

With a Mecklenburg County sheriff’s deputy stationed to the left of the witness box, Kerrick told the jury that he thought his gun wasn’t working because he kept firing at Jonathan Ferrell, but the former Florida A&M; football player kept coming at him.

Kerrick’s re-creation of the incident included him yelling “Stop!” and “Get on the ground!” as loud as he could, his voice echoing throughout the nearly packed courtroom.

He said even when he freed himself after Ferrell fell on his lower legs, he kept his gun trained on him because Ferrell was still moving.

Kerrick said he thought he fired four to six times, but said he now knows it was 12 times. Authorities say he hit Ferrell 10 times.


3:45 p.m.

The white North Carolina police officer accused in the shooting death of an unarmed black man has told a jury about his police training, but has not yet given his version of the events that transpired that night.

Officer Randall Kerrick’s voice cracked Thursday as he began testifying in his voluntary manslaughter trial.

Defense attorney Michael Greene asked about Kerrick’s family, and he identified his wife, who has been sitting behind him throughout the trial. He also mentioned his one child.

Kerrick’s voice continued to quaver as he described his educational background and recounted his police training. He then stepped from the witness stand and described for the jury the equipment he wears to do his job.

In response to specific questions from his attorney, he told the jury that he was never trained to use the butt of his gun as a weapon when encountering a subject or to shoot a gun out of a person’s hands. He also said he was never told to not fire warning shots.

The suspended officer also testified that he was trained to shoot at the biggest center of a target because it is difficult to hit a target.

After approximately 20 minutes of testimony, the court went into a 15-minute recess.


3:10 p.m.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer accused in the shooting death of an unarmed black man nearly two years ago is telling his side of the story to the jury hearing his case.

Officer Randall Kerrick took the witness stand Thursday as his trial on a charge of voluntary manslaughter stretches into its third week.

Police say that Jonathan Ferrell wrecked his car on the morning of Sept. 14, 2013, and went to a nearby house and banged on the door, apparently for help. The resident called police, and three officers responded. Investigators say Kerrick fired 12 shots, 10 of which hit Ferrell. Kerrick was the only officer who fired his gun.

Some of the testimony prior to Kerrick’s appearance focused on training and whether his use of deadly force was necessary.

12:30 p.m.

Technical difficulties at the defense table have brought testimony to a halt in the trial of Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Randall Kerrick.

The defense was hoping to have Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Detective David Osorio testify about an interview involving Officer Thornell Little shortly after Kerrick shot and killed Jonathan Ferrell nearly two years ago.

An objection by prosecutors to the fact that Osorio was the third successive witness to testify about Little’s recollection led Judge Richard Ervin to send the jury out of the courtroom.

As the state searched for the specific issue of its objection, defense attorneys Michael Greene and George Laughrun tried to load the evidence onto a laptop at their desk.

After about 20 minutes, Ervin suggested that the defense move on to another witness. And when that witness was done, the problem still wasn’t resolved and the judge called a sidebar to discuss the matter further.

Another 20 minutes passed before Osorio returned to the witness stand, but the problem wasn’t resolved and the judge declared a recess for lunch.


10:50 a.m.

Prosecutors are targeting the testimony of a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer who told the jury that the man who was fatally shot by his fellow officer yelled, “Shoot me, shoot me!”

Officer Thornell Little is a defense witness who took the stand Thursday in the trial of suspended Officer Randall Kerrick. Kerrick is charged with voluntary manslaughter. In the September 2013 incident, Little and Kerrick were responding to a report of breaking and entering. Little was the second officer to arrive on the scene.

Little testified that when he first saw Jonathan Ferrell, he was pacing and hitting his thighs with his hands. Little says Ferrell walked toward him and said, “Shoot me, shoot me!” after which the officer said he reached for his Taser, pointed it at Ferrell and fired. Little says it was after that that Ferrell ran toward Kerrick.

During cross-examination by prosecutor Adren Harris, Little was shown the dashcam video of the incident. In it, the red dots from Little’s Taser lights are visible, but there’s nothing on the audio portion to suggest that Ferrell asked the officer to shoot him.

Little says he gave Ferrell the command to stop, but that wasn’t heard on the dashcam video, either.


4:45 a.m.

More experts and police officers are expected to testify for the defense in the trial of a suspended North Carolina police officer accused in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Randall Kerrick, who is white, is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death in September 2013 of Jonathan Ferrell, who was black.

Testimony is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. It was cut 30 minutes short Wednesday after a defense witness wasn’t available.

So far, the defense has attempted to show how conflicts have arisen in how Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are trained. But a defense witness testified Wednesday that lethal force should be a last resort when a suspect doesn’t have a weapon visible to officers.

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