Former Louisville Metro Police Detective Kelly Hanna Goodlett pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one count of conspiracy to violate the civil rights of Breonna Taylor for helping to forge an affidavit for the search of his apartment that resulted in his death in March 2020.
Goodlett should be a star witness at the trial of two of his ex-colleagues, Joshua Jaynes and Kyle Meany, when they stand trial on civil rights charges in connection with Taylor’s death. A third ex-detective, Brett Hankison, is also charged in a separate federal indictment.
Goodlett, 35, admitted the charge before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings with Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, among those in the courtroom. She is the first officer to be convicted in connection with Taylor’s death.
Goodlett appeared in court Tuesday afternoon inside the federal courthouse on West Broadway with attorney Brandon Marshall, with the former detective answering “yes, your honor” and “yes, ma’am,” as the judge asked her above all if she understood her. rights and the charges brought against it.
Goodlett has already been released but has been ordered to surrender her passport and have no contact with her co-defendants, including Hankison.
She faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, plus a fine of up to $250,000 and three years of probation. His sentencing is tentatively set for 1 p.m. on November 22, although Jennings noted that date could be pushed back.
After Attorney Michael Songer of the US Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division read the key facts of the plea agreement, Goodlett replied “yes, your honor” to the judge’s question if the facts were correct. all true.
“Guilty,” she said towards the end of the roughly 45-minute hearing, responding to how she would plead.
Prosecutors, Goodlett, his attorney, Palmer and others did not immediately appear outside the federal courthouse after the hearing to comment. Palm later posted a photo of Goodlett to Instagram, with the image featuring a logo for Ben Crump’s law firm and the words “Kelly Goodlett pleads guilty to a federal charge in the murder of Breonna Taylor”.
Goodlette, who resigned from the LMPD after the DOJ announced indictments against her and her three former colleagues earlier this month, admitted that she falsely claimed that a postal inspector checked that Taylor was receiving packages for her ex- boyfriend, convicted drug dealer Jamarcus Glover, in his apartment before the raid. In fact, postal inspectors said there was no evidence that Taylor received packages at her apartment.
Jaynes’ indictment alleges Goodlett met Jaynes in his garage so they could “get on the same page” after a postal inspector said the claim that Taylor was receiving the packages from Glover was wrong.
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Jaynes, 40, and Meany, 35, also face civil rights charges over the search that ended in Taylor’s death, while Hankison, 46, is charged with civil rights violations of Taylor; her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker; and three of Taylor’s neighbors; by indiscriminately firing shots in his apartment.
Taylor was killed in a March 13, 2020 police raid of her apartment near Iroquois Park.
Police raided her home where she was sleeping with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Thinking an intruder was breaking in, he fired a shot that hit Sgt. John Mattingly in the leg. Mattingly and another detective, Myles Cosgrove, returned fire, killing Taylor.
Hankison ran around the side and back of the building, shooting through a window and glass door protected by blinds and a blackout blind and sending several bullets into an adjacent apartment. He was charged and acquitted of wanton endangerment in Jefferson Circuit Court, but is now charged in federal court with violating the civil rights of Taylor, Walker and two adults and a child in the other apartment. .
Taylor was 26, and her death sparked months-long protests in Louisville and other cities. The the city settled with Taylor’s family in September 2020 for $12 millionthe settlement including a commitment to various LMPD reforms, such as requiring a commanding officer to review all search warrants and affidavits before they are forwarded to a judge.
Mattingly has since retired and Cosgrove has been fired. Neither was charged because U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said “the officers who ultimately conducted the search of Taylor’s apartment were not involved in writing the warrant and were unaware of the false and misleading statements contained therein”.
Jaynes and Meany are scheduled for trial October 11 before Senior Judge Charles R. Simpson III, while Hankison’s trial is scheduled for October 13 before Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings. But both trials are almost certain to be postponed.