By JONATHAN MATTISE Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A white former Nashville police officer on Monday waived the right to a parole hearing under a plea deal for fatally shooting a Black man from behind who was fleeing on foot while holding a gun.
Andrew Delke appeared remotely from jail during a brief initial hearing.
Last July, Delke pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 2018 death of 25-year-old Daniel Hambrick as part of an agreement with prosecutors and received a three-year sentence. However, attorneys on both sides have said Delke will likely serve a year and a half in jail with standard credits.
The agreement specifies Delke, 28, won’t pursue parole. Delke is serving time in a jail facility run by the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, not in a state prison.
A parole official said during Monday’s hearing that the Tennessee Board of Parole will issue the decision in Delke’s case.
Hambrick’s mother, Vickie Hambrick, spoke at the parole meeting in Nashville, continuing to say the process has been unfair, secretive and racist. The Hambrick family has said they did not know about the plea deal until after it was done. Delke was about to face trial for a first-degree murder charge.
At the July plea hearing, Vickie Hambrick sobbed, screamed, cursed and knocked over a courtroom lectern in an scene that briefly delayed the hearing before the judge accepted the plea agreement.
After that July hearing, Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk responded by saying he has been in contact with them for three years, knew Vickie Hambrick wanted Delke to be convicted of murder and sentenced to prison for life, and he had to decide what was in the best interest for the state.
Funk called it “significant progress” because it would be the “first night Nashville has had a police officer in jail for shooting a Black man on duty.”
The Hambrick family attorney, Joy Kimbrough, said Monday that Vickie Hambrick found out about the parole hearing from someone who is “keeping up with the case.” The district attorney contacted the Nashville sheriff to ensure Vickie Hambrick would be able to attend the hearing under victim rights protections in the Tennessee Constitution.
“If that was my son, the table was turned, y’all would have gave him life in prison without the parole and without no hearing, and without no bail, or anything. Y’all would throw away the key on a Black man,” Vickie Hambrick said at Monday’s hearing.