The fired Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) detective who was involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor has asked for his trial to be moved to a new location due to the “media circus” surrounding her death.
According to the Courier Journal, ex-LMPD Detective Brett Hankison’s attorney Stew Mathews filed a motion on Tuesday (Feb. 2) saying that a jury pool in Louisville would be “irreparably prejudiced and biased” and a fair trial would be nearly impossible. Additionally, Stews believes that anyone sitting on this jury could have a “chilling effect on prospective jurors who could fear a threat to their well-being.”
“During the trial and after a verdict is reached, these jurors will return to their homes, jobs, places of worship and other venues,” the motion said. “Some groups of people will be pleased with the verdict. Others not so pleased.”
A hearing on the motion is scheduled for March 25. Judge Ann Bailey Smith will be presiding over the proceeding. According to state law, jury trials can be moved “if it appears that the defendant or the state cannot have a fair trial in the county where the prosecution is pending.”
A spokeswoman for the Kentucky attorney general’s office refused to comment about their opinion on the requested location change. “As our response has not been filed, we aren’t going to comment,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Kuhn stated in an email.
Back in September, Hankison was arrested and charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for blindly shooting several shots into the nearby apartments of Taylor’s neighbors. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on $15,000 bond.
He is the only officer who was involved in the shooting to face criminal charges. Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove were not charged, although Cosgrove fired the shot that ultimately killed Taylor.
Hankison’s wanton endangerment trial is set for Aug. 31. If convicted, each charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.