Mother of slain N. Carolina man still wants jus­tice at US of­fi­cer’s mis­trial


Ge­or­gia Fer­rell says she’s still seek­ing jus­tice af­ter a jury couldn’t unan­i­mously de­cide the fate of a white po­lice of­fi­cer in the U.S. state of North Carolina ac­cused in the 2013 shoot­ing death of her son, an un­armed black mo­torist.

“I’ve got to keep fight­ing,” Fer­rell said out­side a court­house late Fri­day af­ter­noon af­ter she heard a judge de­clare a mis­trial in the vol­un­tary man­slaugh­ter case of Char­lot­teMeck­len­burg po­lice of­fi­cer Ran­dall Ker­rick. “We must get jus­tice.”

A racially di­verse jury of eight women and four men de­lib­er­ated over four days. All told, it took four votes on the charge of vol­un­tary man­slaugh­ter against Ker­rick in the death of Jonathan Fer­rell, a for­mer Florida A&M football player.

Judge Robert C. Ervin, the grand­son of for­mer North Carolina Sen­a­tor Sam Ervin, twice asked the jury if con­tin­u­ing their talks would help over­come the im­passe.

“Hon­estly, we have ex­hausted ev­ery pos­si­bil­ity,” the fore­man said af­ter Ervin asked a sec­ond time Fri­day. Hours ear­lier, the fore­man had said the jury was mak­ing progress in re­solv­ing the 8-4 dead­lock.

De­fense at­tor­ney Ge­orge Laugh- run called for the mis­trial, say­ing jurors were at an im­passe af­ter de­lib­er­at­ing for a to­tal of 19 hours. Pros­e­cu­tors, who had pressed Ervin to urge the jury to con­tinue de­lib­er­a­tions, now must de­cide if they want to try Ker­rick a sec­ond time.

Pros­e­cu­tor Adren Harris is­sued a state­ment say­ing the state at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice will re­view the trial tran­script and other in­for­ma­tion and fully con­sider the op­tions be- fore mak­ing any de­ci­sions re­gard­ing the case.

Laugh­run had no com­ment af­ter the mis­trial was de­clared and jurors walked past re­porters with­out tak­ing ques­tions. Ker­rick also left the court­room with­out com­ment.

The Fer­rell fam­ily has al­ready set­tled a law­suit with the city of Char­lotte, re­ceiv­ing US$2.25 mil­lion. Ker­rick is sus­pended from the force with­out pay.


Jonathan Fer­rell’s brother Wil­lie Fer­rell, left, and his mother, Ge­or­gia Fer­rell, an­swer re­porters’ ques­tions along­side de­fense at­tor­ney Chris Ch­est­nut, right, af­ter a mis­trial was de­clared in Char­lotte-Meck­len­burg Po­lice Of­fi­cer Ran­dall Ker­rick’s trial, in Char­lotte, North Carolina, Fri­day, Aug. 21.

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