A North Carolina jury has refused to prosecute the Charlotte police officer who shot an unarmed man to death, saying that there isn’t enough evidence, NBC News reports.
According to the news site, the grand jurors requested that the state attorney general re-file Randall Kerrick’s case with lesser charges, after concluding there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute the man for voluntary manslaughter in the death of Jonathan Ferrell, who was shot 10 times.
Prosecutors intend to immediately resubmit the case. However, it was revealed shortly after teh announcement that not all of the jurors were present for the decision.
There were no reasons given for why the grand jury voted with fewer than 18 members present.
Kerrick, who has been a member of Charlotte’s police force for three years, shot Ferrell 10 times following a confrontation in September 2013. The officer has been on unpaid leave since the incident. He is now looking to the grand jury’s decision with new hope.
His attorney, George Laughrun, told the Charlotte Observer that he "feels like the weight of the world has been lifted from his shoulders," NBC News notes.
"He's extremely relieved that the grand jury members saw fit to keep an open mind and not listen to all the propaganda on all the things he did wrong," Laughrun said.
His police department wasn’t as supportive of the decision, denouncing his actions as "excessive."
It is believed that Ferrell, who police would later report had been in a very serious car accident, was looking for help when he walked toward a house. A woman saw Ferrell approaching and thought it was her husband. She opened her door. When she realized Ferrell wasn't her husband, she shut the door and called 911. Police arrived and Ferrell, 24, who was a chemistry major at Florida A&M University and played safety for the football team, with aspirations to be an automotive engineer, was shot dead.
Last week, his family filed a wrongful-death suit, after autopsy results showed a downward trajectory for most of his 10 gunshot wounds, leading to the belief that he could have been on his knees or on the ground when Kerrick fired his gun.
Read more at NBC News.