NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A criminal court judge will decide by the end of the week if the trial of decommissioned Metro Nashville police officer Andrew Delke will be moved to another county.
Delke's attorneys have requested the trial be moved outside of Davidson County, asking Judge Monte Watkins to grant a change of venue in the case. During a hearing Monday morning, Judge Watkins said he would review the matter and issue a ruling by the end of the week.
Defense attorney David Raybin said they’re concerned about how prospective jurors’ attitudes have shifted after last year’s protests following the death of George Floyd while in police custody. Early last year, Raybin requested that an outside jury be brought in, but the request was denied.
“Considering recent events, the defense conducted a new public opinion survey to assess how prospective jurors’ attitudes toward this case have shifted, if at all, since the last survey was conducted in August of 2019 for the previous Change of Venue motion,” according to court documents filed on December 2.
However, prosecutors argued this is a Nashville case that should and can be decided by a fair Nashville jury.
Delke is facing a first-degree murder charge for shooting and killing Daniel Hambrick during a foot chase in 2018. Delke told the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation that he made the decision to shoot as a response to what he perceived as an “imminent threat” from Hambrick, who he says was running with a gun.
Prosecutors said there was no such threat and surveillance video captured the shooting. Hambrick was shot in the back while running away from Delke.
Delke’s jury trial is scheduled to begin on July 12 after being pushed back due to COVID-19. Right now, he remains out on bond.