LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The public defender representing Roger Burdette, the man charged in the alleged DUI crash that killed an LMPD detective, began her case at a hearing Wednesday.
Amy Hannah told the courtroom that only tragedy surrounds the case in which Burdette, who was driving an MSD truck, slammed into an LMPD vehicle, killing Det. Deidre Mengedoht instantly.
“A detective’s life has been lost, but at this point in time, I don’t believe that the Commonwealth can show probable cause,” Hannah said.
Hannah also said the plainclothes officer who administered Burdette’s field-sobriety test was not wearing a body-camera.
One expert told WAVE 3 News that while the lack of a body-camera could be a hurdle, it won’t make or break the case.
“That doesn’t change the fact that multiple people would have interacted with the suspect and will have an opinion one way or another about how he appeared to them,” Louisville attorney and former prosecutor Brian Butler, who is not involved in the case, told WAVE 3 News.
Another issue Hannah brought up in court was Burdette’s bloodwork, which wasn’t drawn until more than three hours after the crash, according to testimony.
"It's supposed to be taken within two hours of the accident," Butler said.
That is especially important when it comes prescription medication, as Burdette said he had taken. Those medications include Zoloft and medication for cholesterol and high blood pressure, the case’s lead investigator said.
“It becomes somewhat subjective for experts to try to say, maybe we took the blood two hours later,” Butler said. “It says it’s in a therapeutic dose, but if we go back two hours, was it really within a therapeutic dose? That’s an important consideration in a serious case like this.”
MSD confirmed Burdette has not been fired yet, and that it is negotiating with the union that represents him. MSD also said he is still on unpaid status.