Find updates here on the second day of the trial of Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Officer Randall “Wes” Kerrick, who is charged with voluntary manslaughter after killing an unarmed man while on duty. For background on today’s proceedings, click here.
3:30 p.m. Facebook post disqualifies a juror
Defense attorneys brought up a potential juror’s Facebook profile during questioning – and even she didn’t recognize it at first.
The woman had posted about a negative run-in she’d had with a deputy sheriff. She was ultimately dismissed as unlikely to be impartial.
2:15 p.m.: Exploring the effect of race
The judge did end up excusing the potential juror because of the vacation plans. She wasn’t able to get in touch with the cruise people over the lunch break.
The 10th potential juror to be questioned was also dismissed because he said he already knew what his verdict would be. An African-American, he said he always feels threatened when pulled over by a white police officer and that he doesn’t believe police treat black people equally.
12:30 p.m.: Reasons why jurors have been dismissed
The following reasons have led to jurors being dismissed from the Kerrick trial so far today:
▪ Starting college on Aug. 1.
▪ Big business deal about to close.
Reasons that have not gotten jurors dismissed:
▪ A sick husband and daughter with health issues.
▪ A two-week cruise. The judge asked the potential juror to see if she can get it refunded over the lunch break.
Attorneys have argued other people should be thrown out of the jury pool, but a judge has disagreed. Why does this matter? Because each side only has six discretionary strikes, and if a judge disqualifies the juror, the prosecution or defense doesn’t need to use one.
11:30 a.m.: ‘Use of force’ expert in the jury pool
A retired sergeant from Wisconsin appeared before the judge as a potential juror. In his career, he said he had written a use of force policy and sat on boards reviewing the actions of police officers who had used force.
He said his first reaction when he heard of the Kerrick incident was “Oh no, … because it’s happened how many times now?”
The potential juror made it through to the next stage in juror selection. By 11:30 a.m., a half dozen potential jurors had been reviewed, and all of Tuesday’s candidates made it through to the next step.
10 a.m.: Juror questioning begins
Attorneys are questioning potential jurors and have already spoken with four. Only two potential jurors were questioned Monday, and both were excused.
Jurors are being asked what they know about the case and about recent police-involved killings in Ferguson, Mo.,and Baltimore.
One potential juror, a paralegal, wrote in a questionnaire that she believes the city’s police officers need to be better trained. Lawyers on both sides said they were OK with her sitting on the jury.
Another potential juror wrote that when she heard about the case on TV, she “thought he was guilty,” referring to Kerrick, and said police sometimes “react before they think.”
Tweets from the courtroom
Reporting at the courthouse: Michael Gordon, Ann Doss Helms, Jane Wester, Sam Hardiman, Hayley Fowler