The criminal trial for the former Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) detective who was charged for his involvement in the Breonna Taylor raid has been delayed until next year.
According to ABC News, Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for blindly shooting into the apartments of Taylor’s neighbors. During the hearing on Friday (April 23), Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Ann Bailey Smith moved the trial to Feb. 1, 2022, which is five months from its original date that was set for August. Smith says the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional challenges across the state when related to social distancing requirements.
On March 13, 2020, Hankison, along with LMPD Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Officer Myles Cosgrove, fired over 30 shots into Taylor’s apartment while serving a no-knock warrant, killing the young woman.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced that Hankison would be charged with three counts of wanton endangerment last September. The former officer fired 10 shots into Taylor’s apartment, but Cameron said that none of them struck her. Hankison has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In February, Hanksion’s attorney filed to have his client's trial moved to a new location due to the “media circus” surrounding Taylor’s death. Attorney Stew Mathews said that a jury pool in Louisville would be “irreparably prejudiced and biased” and a fair trial would be nearly impossible. The lawyer also believes that anyone sitting on this jury could have a “chilling effect on prospective jurors who could fear a threat to their well-being.”
However, Judge Smith ruled that the trial will remain in Louisville. She said that she realized there had “obviously been an overwhelming amount of publicity” surrounding Hankison’s trial, but she will do her best to find unbiased jurors. “At this point in time, I do think the prudent thing to do is to try to get a jury seated here in Jefferson County,” Smith told the attorneys.
Hankison’s next hearing is scheduled for July 16, 2021.