Cop Indicted in Shooting of Unarmed Crash Victim

Grand jury takes 2 attempts to indict NC officer
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2014 2:06 AM CST
Jonathan Ferrell is seen in an undated photo provided by Florida A&M University.    (AP Photo/Florida A&M University)
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(Newser) – A North Carolina police officer who shot an unarmed car crash victim 10 times was indicted yesterday for involuntary manslaughter on a grand jury's second try. Randall Merrick, who faces between three and 11 years in prison if found guilty, is the first Charlotte police officer to be indicted for an on-duty shooting in more than 30 years, reports the Charlotte Observer. A grand jury refused to indict the 28-year-old officer last week, but the case was sent back for a highly unusual second try after prosecutors said that there hadn't been a full panel present for the first attempt.

The family of Jonathan Ferrell, who was shot after he crashed his car late at night and walked to a nearby house, where the homeowner called 911, filed a wrongful death lawsuit earlier this month. A lawyer for the family says the evidence is so strong that the indictment is no surprise. "We're all pleased and happy that the process is beginning now and that there's an end in sight," he tells CNN. "It is the first step towards justice." (Read more Randall Kerrick stories.)

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