On Monday, Jan. 10, the former Nashville police officer who shot and killed Daniel Hambrick, a 25-year-old Black man, renounced his right to a parole hearing.
This was one of the terms of his plea agreement, which he signed in July 2021. The mother of the dead reiterated her opposition to the deal, stating that the family was not contacted about it. She also mentioned how racist the arrangement was.
Andrew Delke agreed to a manslaughter plea deal last summer, just days before his first-degree murder trial for the murder of Hambrick. A three-year prison sentence was part of the bargain.
One stipulation in this agreement is that he will not be eligible for parole. The Monday parole hearing was really a formality, as Delke had previously agreed not to seek parole.
Only days before a jury was to be selected for a trial, the former officer resigned from the force and accepted the plea offer. If the former officer had been convicted of first-degree murder at trial, he might have been sentenced to life in prison.
Delke pretended to attend the parole hearing and was present via webcam from the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office’s Downtown Detention Center in Nashville — unusually, Delke is not serving his felony sentence in a state jail — to deny the parole option.
Even if he is not eligible for parole, the ex-cop could be released much sooner than his complete sentence.
According to WPLN, inmates at this particular facility are eligible to have their sentences reduced if they behave well. The sheriff’s office devised a system that deducts time from a sentence based on how many days an offender goes without committing an offence.
“I haven’t put a pencil to it,” Defense attorney David Raybin replied when questioned about his client’s possible release. But it won’t be until the end of the year.”
Vickie Hambrick, Hambrick’s mother, maintained her opposition to the ex-plea cop’s deal, claiming that the family was not notified about it until after he accepted the terms. She was particularly upset about the possibility of her son’s killer being released so soon, saying it was unjust and racist, according to ABC 25.
“I don’t believe y’all treated me fairly. I’ve been struggling with this for the past three years, almost four. “I just lost my kid, and [Delke] is leaving in December?” the heartbroken mother wondered. “I don’t think it’s fair at all,” she says.
“If that had been my son, the tables would have been flipped, and you’d have given him life in prison without parole, without a hearing, without bail, or anything,” she added. You’d have thrown the key away on a Black man.”
Delke shot Hambrick in the back on July 26, 2018, after the cop racially profiled a group of young people who were standing in an apartment complex parking lot beside a white sedan that Delke mistook for one he had been tailing earlier.
According to the former cop, the Black man pointed his gun at him, and he shot him because he was frightened of being shot first. Despite the fact that Hambrick was armed, security footage from a neighboring school that captured the chase and shooting never shows him pointing the gun at or in the direction of the officer.
Initially, a magistrate judge concluded that there was insufficient evidence to issue an arrest warrant for Delke. However, a different judge later found probable cause to sign the warrant and have the officer imprisoned, making him the first Nashville cop to do time for shooting someone in the line of duty.
Delke is still behind bars, but if he keeps out of trouble, he might be reunited with his family by December, while his victim is 6 feet under the ground.