Louisville, Ky. police detective is expected to plead guilty in the conspiracy to mislead judge case to obtain Breonna Taylor’s search warrant. This plea would be the first police officer to be convicted in connection with the fatal raid that occurred more than two years ago.
Federal prosecutors brought charges against Kelly Goodlett and three other officers in this month’s nighttime raid in which officers fatally shot Ms. Taylor (26-year-old Black emergency room technician). This was one of many police killings that sparked protests for months in 2020.
A U.S. magistrate judge scheduled a hearing Friday for Ms. Goodlett, to enter a plea. The hearing was set for Aug. 22. According to news outlets, Ms. Goodlett’s lawyer Brandon Marshall told the judge she would plead guilty at that time.
Joshua Jaynes, another detective, claimed in a search warrant that he had checked with a postal inspector that Ms. Taylor was receiving packages. Later, Mr. Jaynes admitted that he hadn’t verified the information with an inspector. He was then fired by the Louisville Metro Police Department.
Prosecutors claimed that Ms. Goodlett had viewed a draft of her affidavit, and that she did not alter it, even though she knew the claim about the postal inspection was false. Prosecutors also claimed that Ms. Goodlett added a misleading line in the affidavit, where she stated that her ex-boyfriend had been using Ms. Taylor’s address as his. Prosecutors said that Ms. Goodlett then lied to investigators regarding whether Mr. Jaynes had verified information about the packages.
Ms. Goodlett was charged with the murder of Mr. Jaynes. A third officer, Sergeant. Kyle Meany was the head of an investigative unit within the Police Department. According to prosecutors, he approved the submission a false warrant and then lied to F.B.I.
Federal prosecutors also brought forth Brett Hankison as a fourth defendant. He had shot blindly through a door and window, striking a nearby apartment where a family was asleep, but not injuring anyone. This year, Mr. Hankison, who was the only person to be charged in the case prior to the federal charges being filed, was acquitted of endangerment charges in state courts.
All three defendants, Mr. Jaynes and Mr. Meany, have pleaded not guilty. Ms. Goodlett might plead guilty to the charges against Mr. Jaynes, Mr. Meany and Mr. Hankison.
The maximum sentence for Ms. Goodlett’s conspiracy charge is five years imprisonment. However, the charges against the officers could lead to a life sentence. Prosecutors claim that Ms. Taylor was killed because of false claims made in the warrant affidavit.
Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, the officers who shot Taylor, were not charged.
After the Justice Department released the charges against Ms. Goodlett last week, the Police Department decided to fire her.
Ms. Goodlett wasn’t present at the raid which took place at midnight on March 13, 2020. Neither were any other officers involved in the search warrant. The warrant included a “no-knock” provision that allowed police to enter the premises without prior warning.
Although the police claimed they did not knock on the door and made an announcement during the raid, Ms. Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker was there with her at the time. He said that he heard nothing but banging at the doors. Walker claimed that he believed intruders invaded the apartment when he saw the police smash the door with a battering-ram. One shot was fired, hitting an officer in the leg. Three officers responded, killing Taylor.
In an affidavit that was used to secure the warrant Mr. Jaynes stated that Jamarcus Glover, her ex-boyfriend, had been seen leaving her apartment in January with a package and that police suspected him of selling drugs. On the night Ms. Taylor was shot, police raided other houses and Mr. Glover later pleaded guilty for selling cocaine and other charges.
Last year, Mr. Jaynes told a Louisville police board that he was not able to verify that Ms. Taylor was receiving packages, but that he had been informed by a sergeant that he believed it was sufficient to support the warrant. Prosecutors also denied that the claim was true.