Former Louisville detective pleads guilty to Breonna Taylor cover-up

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—A former Louisville police detective who helped tamper with the warrant which led to the murderous police raid on Breonna TaylorThe apartment pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge.

Federal investigators say Kelly Goodlett added a false line to the warrant and then conspired with another detective to create a cover story when Taylor’s March 13, 2020 shooting death by police began to draw attention. national attention.

Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman, was shot dead by officers who broke down his door while executing a drug search warrant. Taylor’s boyfriend fired a shot that hit one of the officers as they walked through the door and they returned fire, hitting Taylor repeatedly.

Goodlett, 35, appeared in federal court in Louisville on Tuesday afternoon and admitted to conspiring with another Louisville police officer to tamper with the warrant. Goodlett briefly answered several questions from Federal Judge Rebecca Jennings Grady.

Picture: Merrick Garland, Kristen Clarke
Attorney General Merrick Garland with Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Civil Rights Division, during a press conference at the Justice Department in Washington on August 4, 2022. Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, was in the courtroom Tuesday but did not speak after the proceedings.

Three former Louisville officers have been charged on criminal civil rights charges earlier this month by a federal grand jury. Goodlett has not been charged, but has been charged in a federal briefing, which likely means the former detective is cooperating with investigators.

Goodlett will be sentenced on November 22. Grady said there may be “extenuating circumstances” that could cause the court to push back the sentencing date. A portion of the plea hearing was also kept sealed and not discussed in open court Tuesday. She faces up to five years in prison for this conviction.

She resigned from the department on August 5, a day after U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced new federal charges in the Taylor case.

Former officers Joshua Jaynes and Kyle Meany have been charged with charges related to the warrant used to search Taylor’s home. A third former officer, Brett Hankison, was charged with using excessive force when he backed out of Taylor’s door, turned a corner and fired 10 shots into the side of his two-bedroom apartment bedrooms. He was acquitted by a jury on similar state charges earlier this year. Jaynes, Meany and Hankison were all fired.

The three former officers face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of the civil rights charges.

Federal prosecutors said in court records that Jaynes, who drafted the Taylor warrant, told Goodlett days before the warrant was served that he had been “verified” by a postal inspector that a suspected drug dealer was receiving packages to Taylor’s apartment. But Goodlett knew that was false and told Jaynes the warrant did not yet contain enough information linking Taylor to criminal activity, prosecutors said. She added a paragraph stating that suspected drug dealer Jamarcus Glover used Taylor’s apartment as his current address, according to court records.

Two months later, as Taylor’s shooting made national headlines, the postal inspector told a news outlet that he had not checked that the packages for Glover were going to Taylor’s apartment. Jaynes and Goodlett then met in Jaynes’ garage to “get on the same page” before Jaynes told investigators about the Taylor warrant, according to court records.

They decided to tell Sgt. John Mattingly, who is identified in court records as JM, told them that Glover was receiving packages at Taylor’s home, prosecutors say. Mattingly was shot in the leg during the raid at Taylor’s apartment.

Meany, who signed the Taylor warrant and was still a Louisville police sergeant when he was charged Aug. 4, was fired Friday by Louisville Police Chief Erika Shields.

Shields said in a statement that Meany has yet to face a jury hearing, but “he faces multiple federal charges after a lengthy DOJ investigation” and should not “expect continued employment in any such conditions”.

Hankison was the only accused officer who was at the scene the night of the murder.

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