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A not-guilty plea, new autopsy details and more updates on Breonna Taylor case

WTAP News @ 5 - One office indicted in Breonna Taylor case, not for her death
WTAP News @ 5 - One office indicted in Breonna Taylor case, not for her death
Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 4:29 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Among multiple new developments in the Breonna Taylor shooting case, the lone Kentucky detective facing charges in the death has pleaded not guilty.

Brett Hankison’s plea on Monday came five days after a grand jury indicted him on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing into the home of Taylor’s neighbors. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison on each count.

Hankison’s lawyer asked that his client be allowed to keep firearms for self-defense, saying Hankison, who was fired in June, “has received a number of threats.” The judge turned down the request.

The grand jury declined to charge Hankison or the other two undercover narcotics officers who opened fire inside Taylor’s house with her shooting. The decision not to charge the officers set off protests in Louisville and across the country.

New information on shooting

An autopsy report revealed more details about the shooting death of Taylor.

Her autopsy was performed on March 14 and shows Taylor was shot in the chest, which caused hemorrhages along the wound path; the right upper abdomen; in her left forearm; in her left thigh and in her right foot. An orange and gray metal projectile was also recovered from her right heel.

Following the announcement of the grand jury decision in the case on Sept. 23, Attorney General Daniel Cameron said only one of those shots was fatal.

Hankison was charged for shooting 10 rounds from outside Taylor’s apartment; some of those shots ended up in adjacent units, which was why he was indicted.

Two other officers, Myles Cosgrove and Jon Mattingly, were found to be justified in their use of force, according to the grand jury.

Cameron said evidence showed Mattingly fired six times, and Cosgrove fired 16 shots, and added that both were justified in returning fire after being fired upon. The attorney general also said the FBI lab confirmed the fatal shot came from Cosgrove but a state lab said it was not clear who fired the shot.

Taylor tested negative for alcohol and drug abuse postmortem.

Other developments

  • Kentucky’s attorney general says he will release the audio transcript of the grand jury recording in the Taylor case. This comes after an anonymous grand juror filed a motion requesting all recordings, transcripts and reports of the grand jury be released to the public. Attorney General Daniel Cameron says releasing the transcript could compromise the ongoing federal investigation. Both the Louisville mayor and the Kentucky governor have repeatedly called for the release of documents that won’t interfere with any other ongoing investigations.
  • Louisville’s mayor lifted the curfew put in place after people refused to end their nighttime protests. Mayor Greg Fischer’s statement said the 9 p.m. curfew had served its purpose. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the protests were largely peaceful, with a few people taking advantage of the situation to commit violence. Meanwhile, Kentucky state Rep. Lisa Willner, a Louisville Democrat, said Monday that she’s starting to craft legislation that would narrow the scope of the state’s rioting statute.

From reports by The Associated Press, WAVE and WRDW/WAGT

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