Crime

Paperwork filed to expunge manslaughter charge from Officer Kerrick’s record

dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

Attorneys for Randall “Wes” Kerrick have asked to have the former voluntary-manslaughter charge expunged from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer’s record.

The process, which takes eight to 10 months, started with paperwork filed with the Attorney General’s Office shortly after state prosecutors dropped the case against Kerrick.

The 29-year-old officer was arrested two years ago after the fatal shooting of Jonathan Ferrell. Ferrell was unarmed and had wrecked his car before going to a nearby home, apparently to seek help. Kerrick, one of three officers who responded to a burglary call in which Ferrell was a suspect, shot Ferrell 10 times during a brief encounter.

Kerrick’s trial ended in August with a deadlocked jury voting 8-4 to acquit him. A week later, the Attorney General’s Office announced it would not seek a new trial.

Kerrick attorney George Laughrun said under North Carolina’s expungement law, qualified candidates can have their records cleared one time. Once the Attorney General’s Office signs off on Kerrick’s request, it must be approved by a Mecklenburg County judge, Laughrun said.

After that, the manslaughter charge will be removed from all government records and websites. In future job interviews, Kerrick could also answer truthfully that he has never been arrested.

Expungement has no impact, however, on the private domain.

“Type in Wes Kerrick’s name on Google and see how many hits you get,” Laughrun said Thursday. “There’s no one in the Carolinas and the Southeast who has not heard of Randall ‘Wes’ Kerrick.

“You can never get that off.”

Michael Gordon: 704-358-5095, @MikeGordonOBS

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