Ex-Tennessee officer pleads guilty in 2018 shooting death of Black man

NASHVILLE, Tenn.— The first Nashville police officer ever charged with murder in an on-duty shooting reached an unexpected deal with prosecutors — mere days before he was set to go to trial. 

Andrew Delke, who resigned from the force Thursday, will serve three years on a charge of voluntary manslaughter. He pleaded guilty Friday during a tense and emotional hearing that erupted in outbursts from the victim’s mother and family. 

Delke, 27, who is white, shot Daniel Hambrick, a 25-year-old Black man, three times in the back as he ran away after a traffic stop on July 26, 2018.

Delke was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting. Under the terms of the plea agreement, he is expected to serve three years. Details of any possible early release or probation were not available ahead of the court hearing. Voluntary manslaughter is a class C felony in Tennessee.

Andrew Delke sits in court before he pleads guilty to manslaughter on July 2, 2021, for the 2018 killing of Daniel Hambrick.

Hambrick’s mother, Vickie Hambrick, addressed the court and exploded in anger, screaming: “I hate you.”

Her emotional outbursts continued for minutes. She tried to knock over the prosecution’s table. Delke was removed from the courtroom and Vickie Hambrick was escorted from the room by supporters and other family members. When court resumed, Delke pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

“The reality is tonight for the first time ever a Nashville officer is going to bed in jail for killing a Black man,” District Attorney General Glenn Funk told The Tennessean, part of the USA TODAY Network. “Nashville officers now know they will be held accountable for their actions.”

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