FERRIER FILES: Defense attorneys want photos of victim in officer-involved shooting used
A terrible record going back to his early teens, Facebook photos promoting a gangster lifestyle, and trying to practice illegal shooting at a gun range are some of the topics raised during a preliminary hearing in the fatal shooting of Daniel Hambrick by former Metro Police officer Andrew Delke.
What would the judge allow as evidence about shooting victim Daniel Hambrick and what would she throw out just two weeks before an important hearing?
There is the video of Daniel Hambrick running with a gun in his hand . There will be testimony that officer Andrew Delke told him to drop the gun. And there will be the final defining moment of the confrontation.
But beyond all that there are other facts that officer Delke wants the court to know about. And those were the kinds of things that lead to spirited argument.
District Attorney Glenn Funk and defense attorney David Raybin went back and forth about what the defense wants to include in the preliminary hearing.
Daniel Hambrick had a long criminal record. Assaults, gun charges, drug charges, and he often tried to evade arrest. He was also an armed robber.
The D.A argued none of this matters because officer Delke did not know who he was chasing. He did not know him until after he was dead.
"I am scratching my head trying to figure out how this relates to this shooting," said Assistant District Attorney Ronald Dowdy.
But defense attorneys say it is important because it helps you understand that Hambrick was dangerous and that under the law he could be viewed as the aggressor.
"Who was the first aggressor?" said defense attorney David Raybin. This information could help establish Mr. Hambrick as the aggressor in this confrontation." continued Raybin.
Judge Melissa Blackburn agreed-in part. She will allow violent acts but not his entire record.
The defense continued they wanted to introduce Facebook pictures which included Hambrick pointing his index finger flanked by gun-toting friends that included an AK-47 and a picture biting money. They said its important because it shows Hambrick may have been left-handed and they believe he moved the gun to his left hand perhaps in preparation of targeting officer Delke.
Judge Blackburn ruled she would need more proof that these photos are relevant. The Hambrick family can't believe they are even being considered.
"that's insane, Facebook photos, criminal history, these were not known when he was murdered," said family attorney Joy Kimbrough.
This is all significant because what comes next is a preliminary hearing and the judge could throw the case out .
The killing is only criminal if its unlawful.
"We believe the shooting is lawful and we think Tennessee law spells it out clearly, said FOP president James Smallwood.
The preliminary hearing for officer Andrew Delke, which will decide if there is enough evidence to continue with a criminal homicide trial is set for January 4th.