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Press Release

Henderson Man Sentenced to Prison for 21 Years Following Shooting of a Raleigh Police Officer

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

NEW BERN, N.C. – A Henderson man was sentenced yesterday to 252 months in prison for carjacking and aiding and abetting, brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and possession of stolen firearms.  On March 10, 2020, Cedric Jamal Kearney, 26, pled guilty to the charges.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, on January 4, 2019, Kearney and a co-defendant, Sherry Marie Richmond, robbed a Raleigh man of his car keys and cellphone at gunpoint. The crime spree continued on January 9, 2019 as Kearney and other co-defendants broke into a Holly Springs, NC apartment and stole several firearms and pairs of shoes. Finally, later that night on January 9, 2019, the Raleigh Police Department responded to a reported sighting of the stolen vehicle in the area of Shaub Drive and Teakwood Place.  Upon arrival, the officers witnessed Kearney and another man attempting to get inside of the stolen vehicle. Officers gave out commands to the men and while one complied, Kearney fired shots at the officers and fled on foot. Kearney shot Raleigh Police Officer Charlie Ainsworth two times. Ainsworth had to be rushed to WakeMed hospital with life threatening injuries, but ultimately survived. Body Camera surveillance captured the harrowing incident in its entirety.  Kearney was found several hours later in a shed of a nearby homeowner; still in possession of the gun used to shoot Officer Ainsworth. Kearney had one prior conviction for reckless driving out of Virginia.

“Today was a good day for both the Ainsworth family and the justice system. The Court sent a very clear message that these type of assaults on law enforcement simply will not be tolerated,” Acting U.S. Attorney Acker said of Judge Flanagan’s sentencing.

G. Norman Acker, III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The Raleigh Police Department investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brandon Boykin and Daniel Smith prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:19-CR-382-FL.

Updated October 8, 2021

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime