The former Nashville police officer who shot and killed Daniel Hambrick, a 25-year-old Black man, in 2018, has waived his right to a parole hearing on Monday, Jan. 10.
This action was one of the conditions of a plea deal he entered into in July 2021. The deceased’s mother repeated her objection to the deal, claiming that the family was not consulted about the offer. She also noted that the arrangement was racist.
Last summer Andrew Delke took a manslaughter plea deal just before he was about to stand trial on first-degree murder charges for killing Hambrick. The deal meant a sentence of three years in prison.
One caveat in this deal is he would not be able to seek parole. The parole hearing on Monday was a formality, as Delke already agreed that he would not be seeking parole.
The former officer resigned from the force and accepted the plea deal only days before a jury was supposed to be selected for a trial. Ordinarily, in a first-degree murder charge, had he been convicted at trial, the former officer could have shackled him with a life sentence.
Delke went through the motions of attending the parole meeting and was present via webcam from the Downtown Detention Center, a facility run by the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office in Nashville — unusually, Delke is not serving his felony sentence in a state prison — to decline the parole opportunity.
The ex-cop, even without parole, may still be released significantly earlier than his full sentence.
According to WPLN, this particular jail is allowed to shave off time for individuals who demonstrate good behavior. The jail uses a formula developed by the sheriff’s office that takes off time from a sentence based on how many days an inmate goes without infraction.
When asked about his client’s potential release, Defense attorney David Raybin said, “I haven’t put a pencil to it. But it’ll be toward the end of this year.”
Hambrick’s mother, Vickie, continued to voice her objection to the ex-cop’s plea deal saying that the family was not informed about the deal until after he accepted the terms. She was also distraught about the potential for her son’s killer being released so quickly, noting that it was unfair and racist, reports ABC 25.
“I don’t think that’s fair how y’all treated me. I’ve been dealing with this for three years now, going on four. I lost my son, and [Delke] gets out in December?” the bereaved mother said. “I don’t think it’s fair, not at all.”
She continued further noting, “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 have thrown away the key on a Black man.”
On July 26, 2018, Hambrick was shot in the back by Delke after running away from him once the cop racially profiled a group of young people who were standing in an apartment complex parking lot near a white sedan that Delke mistook for one he had been tailing earlier.
The former officer told investigators that the Black man aimed his gun at him and he shot him because he was afraid of getting shot first. While Hambrick was armed with a gun, surveillance footage from a nearby school that captured the chase and the shooting, never shows him pointing the firearm at or in the direction of the officer.
Originally, a magistrate judge ruled there was not enough evidence to issue a warrant for Delke’s arrest. However, another judge later found probable cause to sign the warrant and have the officer arrested, making him the first Nashville person from law enforcement to ever serve time for shooting a person in the line of duty.
Delke remains incarcerated, but if he stays out of trouble could be home with his family by December.
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