NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The three-year sentence for former Metro Nashville Police officer Andrew Delke was met with anger and frustration from the family of Daniel Hambrick, leading to an emotional outburst that caused the courtroom to be emptied during Friday's plea hearing.
After the terms of the plea agreement were read, and Delke read a statement to the court, Judge Monte Watkins allowed Joy Kimbrough, the lawyer for Hambrick's family, to read a statement from Daniel's mom, Vickie, as well as make a statement herself on behalf of the family.
"We all know that if Daniel had murdered Delke, had shot him in the back of the head, and the back and the buttocks, as he ran away, he’d be on death row waiting for the electric chair," Kimbrough read from Vickie Hambrick's statement.
"In the end, the sitting DA lost his nerve."
After presenting both statements, Vickie herself spoke to the court. "I can't believe this judge," Vickie said. "I can't believe this. I've been going through this for three years."
"I don't have a son," Vickie said, banging the podium, before turning and addressing Delke, screaming, "because of you! Because of you! I lost my son, because of you!"
"I hate you," Vickie yelled. "I don't accept your apology."
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Vickie also turned and spoke directly to the district attorney, continuing to yell and beginning to shout obscenities. "Glen, what if it was your m----- f------ child!" Vickie continued to yell at Funk and Hambrick, before turning towards and moving towards Funk's table, leading family members to restrain her.
Delke and the judge shortly left the courtroom, causing the hearing to be shut down temporarily. It would be resumed, with the judge accepting the terms of the plea deal.
Before, during and after the hearing, protesters gathered outside the courtroom, chanting "No justice, no peace," in protest of the plea agreement.
District Attorney Glenn Funk addressed reporters immediately following the plea hearing. He said he notified Kimbrough of the deal after he received it on Wednesday. He said he also offered to meet with Vickie and the family that day.
However, according to Funk, Kimbrough decided to keep a previously scheduled meeting for Thursday at 2 p.m. for all of them to meet and discuss the plea agreement.
Funk said during Thursday's meeting, “She immediately reacted, because she’s lost her son… she started notifying people of the deal and her displeasure of the deal."
“We stayed in contact with her for 3 years because we’ve been fighting for her and her son for the last three years," said Funk. "I certainly understand her wishes that this sen may have focused on retribution and a longer sentence but in a criminal court system the DA has to make those calls and that’s the call that I made”
The Hambrick family held a press conference at the Nashville NAACP office shortly after the hearing.
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