CHARLOTTE—Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are celebrating the lowest murder rate in decades. Fifty-two people were killed in 2012. The Mecklenburg County District Attorney is touting the statistic as well.
Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray's office is clearing cases faster then in year's past; that means victims and their families are getting closure, sooner.
Murray is beginning his third year in office and his work is not slowing down. A few hours into the new year, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police investigated the first murder of the year in East Charlotte. The incident came as the community celebrated the lowest homicide rate of 52 in a quarter century.
"It's great for the community. Obviously the less homicides we have, that's less victims out there,” said Murray.
While Murray can not prevent every case that comes through his office, he said he is working to find a faster resolution.
Before he took office, some homicide cases took years for a conclusion. The DA's office averaged 61 cases per year. Now that average is up to 90, eleven of those cases went to trial in 2012.
"As less come in, and we continue to handle more cases, we're going to shrink that number to a manageable level. Once we can get to that, we can focus on other important things in this office,” said Murray.
Murray said he wants to continue to knock down the backlog of cases. He is also pairing younger assistant district attorneys with veteran prosecutors. It is a move that Murray said will strengthen the entire office. Murray also wants to work more with his domestic violence team, something he started last year.
Murray admits there are still challenges ahead. He hopes to tackle them during his remaining two years of his term. And he told us he will run for re-election.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said of the 52 homicides last year, 13 are still open cases.