A former Nashville police officer convicted of killing a man in July 2021 will be released from a Davidson County jail Dec. 4, around a month earlier than expected.
Andrew Delke pleaded guilty to manslaughter in July 2021 after fatally shooting Daniel Hambrick.
According to the Tennessee Department of Corrections, Delke's incarceration in Davidson County will end Dec. 3. He was initially eligible for early release per his plea agreement in January 2023 after 18 months served.
Delke shot Hambrick three times in the back as Hambrick ran away from a North Nashville traffic stop on July 26, 2018. The shooting kicked off an ongoing conversation about policing and racial bias in Nashville as Delke, a white office, shot Hambrick, a black man.
Charged with first-degree murder, Delke was sentenced to three years in prison as part of a plea agreement.
Under the deal, Delke waived his right to parole.
Under Tennessee law, the board of parole has the ability to parole felony sentences of more than two years. The Reentry Success Act of 2021, signed this summer, means they're presumed to be released except if the board finds "good cause" otherwise, a reversal from the previous framework.
But the parameters for denying parole are broad.
The board cannot solely decide to keep an inmate in prison because of the seriousness of the crime (a list that includes voluntary manslaughter), but it is a main factor.
They also are bound to consider whether the defendant would meet release conditions, affect institutional discipline or if the defendant's continuing education inside the corrections system is found to be key to success at a later release date.
A parole hearing is required to be set within one year prior to the determined release eligibility date, a factor of the sentence.
Delke was the first Nashville police officer to be charged with premeditated murder for an on-duty shooting, and his ultimate conviction for the death through the plea agreement remains the highest penalty handed down in similar circumstances.
He has maintained he shot in self defense after he saw Hambrick holding a gun.
Hambrick's family slammed Funk's decision to take the plea deal in the first place. Funk has maintained the decision to send the former officer to jail was an act of justice.
"Based on the history of this case, you know, we can't take anything for granted," Hambrick family attorney Joy Kimbrough told The Tennessean.
Reach reporter Craig Shoup by email at email@example.com and on Twitter @Craig_Shoup. To support his work, sign up for a digital subscription to www.tennessean.com.
Reporter Mariah Timms contributed to this story.
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Former Nashville police officer to be released early