Jury selection to begin in trial of ex-officer charged in killing unarmed black man in NC

Randall Kerrick

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Jury selection is beginning in the trial of a white Charlotte police officer accused of fatally shooting an unarmed black man who was looking for help.

Prosecutors say Randall Kerrick fatally shot 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell, a former Florida A&M football player, on Sept. 14, 2013. Kerrick was arrested the day of the shooting. He was later indicted for voluntary manslaughter, which carries a prison sentence of up to 11 years.

This undated photo provided by shows 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell of Charlotte, N.C.  Ferrell was shot to death by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Randall Kerrick. Kerrick was arrested and charged with voluntary manslaughter and his trial is scheduled to start on Monday, July 20, 2015 . Investigators say Kerrick shot Ferrell, who was unarmed, 10 times during an investigation of a possible home invasion. (Courtesy Vaughn Wilson/FAMU Athletics via AP)
Jonathan Ferrell of Charlotte, N.C. Ferrell was shot to death by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Randall Kerrick. (Courtesy Vaughn Wilson/FAMU Athletics via AP)

Prosecutors say the shooting was a case of excessive force, while defense attorneys say Kerrick acted in self-defense.

Prosecutors say Kerrick fired 12 shots, 10 of which hit Ferrell. While prosecutors say it was obvious Ferrell was not armed, Kerrick’s defense attorneys say that wasn’t clear.

Kerrick’s attorneys tried to get the case moved, saying extensive publicity makes it unlikely he can get a fair trial in Mecklenburg County. They say interest in the case has increased because of the national debate about race and aggressive police tactics.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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