Nashville cop seen on video shooting a black man dead as he fled takes three-year plea deal after having first-degree murder charge downgraded to manslaughter
- Officer Andrew Delke, 27, was less than two weeks away from going on trial on charge of first-degree murder for July 2018 killing of Daniel Hambrick
- Delke on Thursday agreed to plead guilty to lesser count of involuntary manslaughter and accept a three-year sentence
- Attorney for Hambrick’s family said plea deal was made without the knowledge of his mother, who was left ‘distraught’ and ‘very upset’
- Surveillance video showed Delke firing at a fleeing Hambrick, who was armed, before he collapsed
- Delke shot Hambrick in the back, torso and the head, claiming he had ‘acted in accordance with his training’
A white Nashville police officer who had been facing a murder trial for the shooting death of a black man has agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter in exchange for a prison sentence of just three years.
Attorney David Raybin confirmed the plea deal on behalf of 27-year-old Officer Andrew Delke, who was less than two weeks away from trial over the death of 25-year-old Daniel Hambrick.
Delke, who had just resigned from the police force on Thursday morning, is set to appear in court on Friday to finalize the plea agreement with prosecutors.
Nashville police officer Andrew Delke, pictured left talking to his defense attorney on June 15, has agreed to plead guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter, instead of first-degree murder, in connection with the July 2018 killing of Daniel Hambrick, 25 (right)
Delke, pictured on June 15, had been facing a first-degree murder trial
The attorney for Hambrick’s family, Joy Kimbrough, said Hambrick’s mother, Vickie Hambrick, was not contacted or consulted and did not know about the deal until after it was done.
Kimbrough said the deal includes a three-year prison sentence. Raybin declined to comment on any sentence length.
‘She’s very upset about it. She’s distraught about it. And she has said it’s like losing her son all over again,’ Kimbrough said of Hambrick’s mother.
On July 26, 2018, Delke was caught on video shooting a fleeing Hambrick, who was armed
Delke shot the black man in the back, head and torso as he ran away
Hambrick’s mother, Vicki (pictured in court in January 2019) was reportedly not consulted on the plea deal, which has left her ‘distraught,’ according to the family’s attorney
Delke was initially indicted on a charge of first-degree murder for Hambrick’s July 2018 killing, which was caught on video.
Delke was seen shooting Hambrick, who was armed, in the back and torso as the suspect fled.
Delke’s trial was scheduled to begin on July 12. Earlier this week, a judge sided with the prosecution when he allowed the video of the shooting to be played for the jurors.
Until this morning, Delke had remained on the force but was not an active patrol officer. A spokesperson for the department has confirmed his departure.
Delke did not know who Hambrick was when he chased him and shot him three times, an arrest affidavit stated.
Delke previously had pleaded not guilty, claiming he had ‘acted in accordance with his training.’ He resigned from the Nashville police force on Thursday morning
Delke is expected to appear in court on Friday to finalize the plea deal, that would see him plead guilty to a count of involuntary manslaughter and be sentenced to three years in prison
On July 26, 2018, Delke had been following a ‘suspicious’ white Chevrolet Impala initially stopped at a stop sign, according to CNN . He had run plates and found it was not a stolen vehicle. but followed it regardless ‘to see if he could develop a reason to stop the Impala.’
Hambrick was in the area at the time when Delke mistook his car for the Impala and pulled up in the parking lot. Hambrick began to run and can be seen gunned down from behind on a surveillance video.
Delke had pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder charge. His attorney had said the officer acted in line with his training and Tennessee law in response to ‘an armed suspect who ignored repeated orders to drop his gun.’
District Attorney General Funk has argued Delke had other alternatives, adding the officer could have stopped, sought cover and called for help.
The case sparked an outcry that led to a referendum approving the creation of a citizen oversight board for Nashville’s police force.