Former detective charged in Breonna Taylor case to plead guilty

Breonna Taylor was killed in a botched police raid.

August 12, 2022, 5:09 PM

Former Louisville detective Kelly Goodlett will plead guilty to one count of conspiring to violate the civil rights of Breonna Taylor .

Goodlett confirmed the plea with her attorney during an online court hearing Friday.

Taylor was fatally gunned down when Louisville, Kentucky, police officers executed a “no-knock” search warrant on her home shortly after midnight on March 13, 2020.

Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he thought they were intruders and shot at the officers, who returned fire with more than 25 bullets, killing Taylor.

Goodlett, who was not present during the incident, is being charged for her role in helping falsify an affidavit for the search into Taylor's apartment.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Aug. 4 that the Department of Justice has filed charges against four former and current Louisville police officers in connection with the death of Breonna Taylor. The charges include civil rights offenses, unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction offenses.

Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old certified emergency medical technician, was killed in March when police executed multiple search warrants at her home.
Family of Breonna Taylor

"The federal charges announced today allege that members of a Police Investigations Unit falsified the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant of Ms. Taylor's home and that this act violated federal civil rights laws, and that those violations resulted in Ms. Taylor's death," Garland said in a news conference.

The federal charges against Goodlett, alongside former detective Joshua Jaynes and former sergeant Kyle Meany, allege they violated Taylor's Fourth Amendment rights when they sought a warrant to search Taylor's home while knowing they lacked probable cause, and that they knew their affidavit supporting the warrant contained false and misleading information and omitted other material information, resulting in her death.

Charges have also been filed against Brett Hankison, a former Louisville Metro Police officer. Hankison has been charged in a two-count indictment for deprivation of rights under color of law, both of which are civil rights offenses.

Hankison previously went to trial on state charges relating to the raid on Taylor's apartment and was found not guilty on all counts. He was charged with recklessly shooting into a neighboring apartment during the course of the raid that ended with the death of Breonna Taylor, but found not guilty on all three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree.

Jaynes' attorney, Thomas Clay, declined ABC News' request for comment. Attorney information for Meany and Hankison was not immediately available.

"Among other things, the affidavit falsely claimed that officers had verified that the target of the alleged drug trafficking operation had received packages at Ms. Taylor's address. In fact, defendants Jaynes and Goodlett knew that was not true," Garland said during a press conference.

Garland also alleged that Jaynes and Goodlett knew armed officers would be carrying out the raid at Taylor's home, and that conducting the search could create "a dangerous situation for anyone who happened to be in Ms. Taylor's home."

Goodlett’s next court appearance will be on Aug. 22.

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