The Latest: Officer testifies he heard 3 groups of shots

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Posted: Aug 05, 2015 4:53 PM
The Latest: Officer testifies he heard 3 groups of shots

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The latest on the trial of a white Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of an unarmed black man seeking help after a crash in September 2013 (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

A Charlotte police officer who was on the scene when another officer shot and killed a man seeking help after a car crash said he saw his fellow officer fire three distinct groups of shots.

Officer Adam Neal testified Wednesday that he saw Randall Kerrick fire four shots at Jonathan Ferrell as Ferrell ran at him. Neal says Ferrell then fell on top of Kerrick and the officer fired six more shots as Ferrell made a crawling motion across his legs.

Neal says Ferrell stopped crawling for a moment, but when he began moving again, Kerrick fired the final two shots.

Neal says he never thought of drawing his own gun. Under cross-examination, he said if he had fired, he would have hit Kerrick.

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3 p.m.

Jurors have been viewing dashboard camera footage and hearing the sounds of a Charlotte police officer shooting a man who had been looking for help after a car crash, as the film was shown publically for the first time at the officer's voluntary manslaughter trial.

The footage from police officer Adam Neal's cruiser didn't show officer Randall Kerrick firing his gun or Jonathan Ferrell being hit, but all 12 shots could be heard over the audio recording from Neal's uniform microphone.

Neal was the last officer to arrive at the scene before the shooting. Jonathan Ferrell can be seen in the headlights of Neal's car as he stops.

Ferrell begins running out of the camera's view and a voice is heard yelling "get on the ground!" Four shots are fired, then a pause and eight more shots are heard as someone keeps yelling to for Ferrell to get on the ground. After the final shot, a voice yells "Don't move!" The whole encounter takes about five seconds. Then the area is quiet as the officers call for help.

Dashboard footage from Kerrick's car and the third officer is also expected to be introduced in Kerrick's voluntary manslaughter trial.

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11:20 a.m.

Jurors in the manslaughter trial of a Charlotte police officer have been shown a graphic photo of the man he's accused of killing.

The bloody, frontal photo taken more than three hours after Jonathan Ferrell fell dead face-down in a ditch was passed around by jurors Wednesday as a homicide detective testified. Some only glanced briefly while others stared intently. Unlike other photos in the case, it was not shown to the public on an overhead screen.

Ferrell was shot as officer Randall Kerrick helped investigate a possible home invasion. Kerrick is charged with voluntary manslaughter.

The defense objected to the photo, saying a picture already shown of Ferrell's body face-down and handcuffed was enough. They also pointed out that some jurors watched as Ferrell's mother, fiancee and other family members left crying when the first photo of his body was shown Tuesday.

The judge warned family members to leave or stay calm Wednesday, and those who remained showed no reaction to descriptions of the photo.