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Mistrial declared in N.C. police officer's manslaughter trial

A North Carolina judge declared a mistrial Friday after a jury deadlocked in the case of a white police officer charged with voluntary manslaughter in the death of an unarmed black man.

Judge Robert Ervin declared a mistrial in the case of Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Officer Randall Kerrick after four days of deliberations. Kerrick is accused of using excessive force in the shooting of Jonathan Ferrell, 24, a former Florida A&M football player who died on Sept. 14, 2013.

Ervin brought the racially diverse jury of eight women and four men back into the Mecklenburg County courtroom around 4:10 p.m. The foreman said they continued to be deadlocked 8-4, and he saw no possibility of reaching a verdict. Officials did not say which way the 8-4 vote was leaning.

Defense attorney George Laughrun called for the mistrial because jurors were at an impasse after deliberating for 19 hours. Prosecutors asked Ervin to urge the jury to continue deliberating.

Prosecutor Adren Harris said officials will review the case and consider whether to retry it.

The family of Ferrell held a news conference, calling for a new trial and asking the community to react peacefully to the mistrial.

Ferrell had wrecked his car on a dark stretch of road and walked to a house in eastern Charlotte when the homeowner triggered the burglary alarm and called 911. Three police officers arrived soon after. Upon seeing Ferrell in the dark, one officer fired his Taser and missed. Kerrick then opened fire, hitting Ferrell 10 times and killing him. Kerrick had faced up to 11 years in prison if convicted.

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