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Man charged in LMPD officer’s death indicted on 7 charges

Roger Burdette appeared in court on Dec. 26.
Roger Burdette appeared in court on Dec. 26.(WAVE 3 News)
Updated: Feb. 14, 2019 at 1:28 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Murder and four counts of wanton endangerment are among the charges read Thursday as a grand jury came back in the deadly crash that took the life of Louisville Metro Police Detective Deidre Mengedoht.

Seven true bills were returned against former Metro Sewer District semi driver Roger Burdette in connection to that wreck on I-64 in December. The case against Burdette only gets tougher from here, as he also faces a couple of battles in civil court.

In Circuit Court Thursday afternoon Jefferson Circuit Judge Judith McDonald Burkman read the grand jury’s decision in the case of the Christmas Eve crash.

“Commonwealth versus Roger Burdette: One count murder, four counts wanton endangerment in the first degree, one count operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicants first offense with aggravated circumstances, one count failure to give right of way to stopped emergency vehicle,” Judge Burkman read aloud. “True bill all seven counts.”

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The four counts of wanton endangerment stem from driver Quentin Brady, who Detective Mengedoht pulled over for the traffic stop. Brady, his girlfriend and two young relatives in the backseat suffered minor injuries in the crash. They’re suing Burdette, as are some family members of the Detective Mengedoht.

Attorney Ron Hillerich represents the Mengedoht estate.

“I really don’t know what the police have in this case because they’ve basically stopped," Hillerich said. "We do not have access to the police files at this time so it’s difficult to say.”

The detective was killed in a crash on Christmas Eve.
The detective was killed in a crash on Christmas Eve.(Source: LMPD)

While Burdette is presumed innocent, WAVE 3 News asked Hillerich how the criminal case could affect the wrongful death lawsuit.

“If Mr. Burdette were to be found guilty, or if Mr. Burdette were to plead guilty to any of these charges, that of course could be used in the civil suit in our favor and against him," Hillerich said.

MSD originally hired attorney David Lambertus to represent Burdette. In a crowded courtroom packed with LMPD officers on January 7 Lambertus notified the judge that he was no longer representing Burdette, and a public defender was assigned to the case.

The Jefferson County Attorney’s Office also recused itself from the case, pending possible civil claims that would represent a conflict of interest.

Burdette is expected to be arraigned Monday afternoon.

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