LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A former Louisville Metro Police detective on Tuesday pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the federal probe of Breonna Taylor's death.
What You Need To Know
- A former LMPD detective pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in connection to Breonna Taylor's death
- Kelly Hannah Goodlett pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate Taylor's civil rights for helping falsify, and consequently cover up, an affidavit to justify the deadly search on Taylor's apartment in March 2020
- The former LMPD detective faces up to five years in prison
- Goodlett will likely serve as a star witness in the federal trial of her two former colleagues, Kyle Meany and Joshua Jaynes
Kelly Hannah Goodlett entered her plea before a judge in the western district of Kentucky Tuesday afternoon.
Federal investigators said Goodlett added a false line to the warrant and later conspired with another detective to create a cover story when Taylor's March 13, 2020, shooting death by police began gaining national attention.
Goodlett, 35, appeared in a federal courtroom in Louisville on Tuesday afternoon and admitted to conspiring with another Louisville police officer to falsify the warrant. Goodlett briefly answered several questions from federal judge Rebecca Jennings Grady.
With the plea, Goodlett avoided indictment and will likely serve as a star witness in the trial of her two former colleagues, Kyle Meany and Joshua Jaynes. The two men were indicted by the FBI on civil rights charges in early August.
The former LMPD detective faces up to five years in prison. Her sentencing is tentatively set for 1 p.m. on Nov. 22.
Grady said there may be “extenuating circumstances” that may move the court to push back the sentencing date. Part of the plea hearing was also kept under seal and was not discussed in open court Tuesday.
Goodlett resigned from the department Aug. 5, a day after U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced new federal charges in the Taylor case.
Investigators allege Goodlett, Meany and Jaynes tried to cover up the fact that the information Jaynes provided for the no-knock search warrant was false.
Taylor was shot to death by Louisville officers who had knocked down her door while executing the search warrant. Taylor’s boyfriend fired a shot that hit one of the officers as they came through the door and they returned fire, striking Taylor multiple times.
Former officers Joshua Jaynes and Kyle Meany were indicted on 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 retreated from Taylor’s door, turned a corner and fired 10 shots into the side of her two-bedroom apartment. He was acquitted by a jury on similar state charges earlier this year. Jaynes, Meany and Hankison have all been fired.
The three former officers face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted on the civil rights charges.
The Department of Justice has been pursuing a seperate, ongoing investigation into Taylor's death since mid-2020, and the department launched a far-ranging investigation into LMPD's practices. Officials were probing whether LMPD uses "unreasonable force," if it engages in "unconstitutional stops, searches and seizures," if it "unlawfully executes search warrants on private homes," and if it discriminates based on race or disability.