As with so many trials, the Breonna Taylor case divided Americans on how to deal with no-knock-raids. However, new evidence has come out that reveals that the warrant was not justly obtained, and all Americans are hurt by infringements on due process.
A former Louisville detective admitted to misleading the judge who approved the no-knock warrant for the raid that ended 26-year-old EMT Breonna Taylor’s life in March 2020, The New York Times reported.
The ex-detective, Kelly Goodlett, 35, pleaded guilty a Louisville, Kentucky, federal court Tuesday to one count of conspiracy, where she admitted that she had conspired with another officer, Joshua Jaynes, to falsify a search warrant application and had later lied to cover up their act, the New York Times reported.
With her guilty plea, Goodlett has now become the first officer to be convicted in the raid that killed Taylor over two years ago, the New York Times reported.
Goodlett faces a sentence of no more than five years in prison, plus up to a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. Her sentencing tentatively is set for Nov. 22, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.
Attorneys for Goodlett and the prosecutors in the federal case have not offered any comment, according to reports.
Ben Crump, who is one of the attorneys representing the Taylor family, tweeted: “BREAKING: Former Louisville Metro Police Department Officer Kelly Goodlett has pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy for helping to falsify the search warrant in the deadly no-knock raid that killed Breonna Taylor.”
Goodlett is expected to be a star witness at the trial of two of her former LMPD colleagues, Joshua Jaynes and Kyle Meany, when they are tried on civil rights charges in connection with Taylor’s death, the Louisville Courier Journal reported.
It was announced earlier this month that Goodlett, along with Brett Hankison, as well as Jaynes, and Meany were brought up on federal charges for alleged civil rights violations in connection to raiding Taylor’s home.
Jaynes, Meany and Hankinson have all pleaded not guilty to the charges they are facing.
The charges coming from the U.S Department of Justice are connected to the shots fired into Taylor’s home by Hankinson and to the other three officers’ roles in the drafting of the warrant. These charges were given to the other three officers on the basis that the warrant ultimately led to Taylor’s death due to the dangerous situation it created, authorities said
In documentation previously obtained by the Louisville Courier-Journal, police were authorized to carry out a “no-knock” warrant on Taylor’s Louisville home on March 13, 2020, as part of a narcotics investigation of a person who lived in a home 10 miles away. Neither Taylor nor her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were the investigation’s target. Police had suspected, though, that Taylor’s home was used to receive drugs because cops said her ex-boyfriend was using her address to mail drugs through the post office.
Authorities said they identified themselves, despite the “no-knock” warrant. Police said the officers were “immediately” met by gunfire when they entered Taylor and Walker’s home, at which point they returned fire. More than 25 bullets from three officers who entered Taylor’s home were fired, some entered the nearby apartments, one of which contained a 5-year-old child.
Walker, a licensed gun owner, called 911 during the ordeal and he was informed he’d shot an officer. He was initially charged with attempted murder, but his charges were later dropped after he said he shot in self-defense thinking he and Taylor were victims of a home invasion.
Taylor was struck by eight bullets, killing her on the scene. Neither Taylor nor Walker had any criminal history and no drugs were located in the home.
In March 2022, a jury acquitted Hankison on a charge of wanton endangerment. A grand jury also cleared the other two officers, Detectives Miles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, who shot Taylor, NBC News reported. However, the grand jury charged Hankison for endangering neighbors in the adjacent apartment, NBC News reported.