The only Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officer who was charged for the raid that led to the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor has been granted a bond reduction. According to WLKY, a judge reduced Brett Hankison’s bond from $15,000 to $7,500 during a hearing on Thursday (Sept. 23). Last month, he filed a motion asking to get half his bail money back because he was having trouble covering his legal expenses.
Following national outrage over the shooting, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced that Hankison would be charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for “blindly” shooting into the homes of Taylor’s neighbors. None of the officers were charged for the 26-year-old’s death.
In February, Hankison’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 stated that anyone sitting on this jury could have a “chilling effect on prospective jurors who could fear a threat to their well-being.”
However, Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Ann Bailey 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.
The judge also moved Hankison’s trial to Feb. 1, 2022, five months from its original date that was set for August. Smith cited the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason the trial was pushed back. Hankison has pleaded not guilty to the wanton endangerment charges, which are all felonies. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.