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How will verdict in Floyd case impact Andrew Delke trial in Nashville?

Delke set to stand trial for shooting death of Daniel Hambrick
DelkeRaybincourt.jpg
Posted at 1:13 PM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 00:00:29-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The guilty verdict in the George Floyd case sends a message: An on-duty police officer can be convicted of murder, and the impact reaches far beyond Minnesota.

This summer in Nashville, decommissioned Metro Officer Andrew Delke will stand trial, charged in the shooting death of Daniel Hambrick.

Daniel Hambrick: Autopsy Results Released
Daniel Hambrick

The verdict may set the stage for what happens here.

Derek Chauvin was convicted of three charges in the George Floyd case, the most serious being second-degree unintentional murder, and could get a 40-year sentence.

In Nashville, even more is at stake for Andrew Delke.

The now decommissioned Metro police officer is charged with the first-degree murder of Daniel Hambrick, and if convicted faces a potential life sentence.

One question now: How might the Floyd verdict impact the Delke case?

"I think if I'm Mr. Delke, I am obviously very nervous after seeing what happened yesterday," said NewsChannel5's legal analyst Nick Leonardo.

He said the Hambrick and Floyd cases are very different, but... "Obviously there are some similarities. It's all on video. Neither the Chauvin case or Delke is a who done it. We know what happened."

In July of 2018, Officer Delke -- now decommissioned and free on bond -- was in a foot chase with Daniel Hambrick after a traffic stop.

The incident was caught on video made public and shows Delke shooting Hambrick in the back as he ran away.

Delke says Hambrick was armed with a gun and posed an imminent threat.

Polling by the defense found many locally who've seen the video have made up their minds.

Some say Delke was doing his job. Others call it murder.

Still, like the jury in the Floyd case, the jurors here will be chosen locally -- no change of venue.

"Did Judge Watkins make the right decision to leave the trial here and not go anywhere else to go pick a jury," asked Leonardo.

Opinion on the case seems split, much more so than the Floyd case, and Leonardo says that sets the stage for a possible hung jury.

One other similarity between the cases: In Minneapolis, the city settled a civil lawsuit with the Floyd family for $27 million.

Just last month, Nashville settled with the Hambrick estate for $2.5 million.

Jury selection in the case is set to begin July 1 in Nashville after those attempts by the defense to change the venue were denied.

We do plan gavel-to-gavel coverage of the trial.