‘More drunk than he should’ve been’: in court, a friend recalls James Short’s final hours

On the night he was hit and killed by a Charlotte Mecklenburg police vehicle, James Michael Short had been drinking heavily, a friend testified on Friday. 

John Jacik told the jury that Short was noticeably “more drunk than he should’ve been” when the two men arrived at a South End club around 8 p.m. on July 7, 2017.  Short had been taking shots of alcohol since 4 p.m., Jacik said. 

Around midnight, Jacik lost Short outside of the club. Hours later, Short was crossing a street in a designated crosswalk when he was struck by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department vehicle driven by officer Phillip Barker. The officer, traveling more than 100 mph on East Morehead Street, was on a call responding to a wreck. The speed limit on Morehead Street is 35 mph. Short was killed instantly instantly.

Barker, now 29, is on trial for involuntary manslaughter. If convicted, he could be sentenced to more than five years in prison.

A friend recalls the fatal night

Jacik met Short in 2014 when Jacik came to Charlotte from New Jersey to visit his family. The two bonded having “a couple of drinks.”

“There is that time where you meet that person and hit it off with them,” he told the jury. “That’s how it was with us. We had been friends ever since.

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