Mark Handy: Embattled former detective invokes Fifth Amendment in 1992 murder case

Mark Handy is accused of coercing confessions, making up statements and more

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A former LMPD homicide detective took the stand in yet another case accusing him of shoddy police work.

Mark Handy is accused of coercing confessions, making up statements and ignoring exculpatory evidence in three separate murder cases which have led to four overturned convictions.

Handy was indicted on charges of perjury and tampering with physical evidence in September 2018 following a series of investigations by WAVE 3 News. The stories led to the Louisville Metro Council asking the Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate.

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Tuesday, Handy invoked the Fifth Amendment to a series of questions surrounding the 1992 case involving Keith West.

West is now asking for his manslaughter records to be expunged.

West was originally accused of robbing and murdering two men. He served seven years in prison and at one time faced the death penalty. West claimed the shooting was in self-defense because he believed the two men were going to tie him up and rape him.

The murder conviction was later overturned and the charges amended to manslaughter. It was discovered that Handy had missed exculpatory evidence inside of the car where the shooting happened, including a homosexual pornographic magazine and rope, among other things.

In December 2017, WAVE 3 News exposed a tape which was part of the West case in which Handy can be heard questioning a witness. The tape had been rewound and recorded over with the same witness giving a contrasting statement. Handy later admitted to recording over the tape. That witness recently testified Handy coerced him on what to say the second time around.

Tuesday, that tape was the subject of discussion.

That was only one of the problems brought up by West’s attorneys with the Innocence Project. They also brought Edwin Chandler’s case. Chandler won an $8 million wrongful conviction lawsuit in which Handy was also involved. Handy’s indictment was related to the Chandler case.

Chandler told the court how Handy forced him to give a false confession because Handy threatened to arrest his sister for harboring him.

“He slammed the radio down on the table and he said ‘I’ve got officers waiting right outside of your sister’s house and they’re going to take those little kids right from her.’”

Judge Olu Stevens is presiding over the case. It will be up to him to remove the manslaughter charges off of West’s record.

Handy will have to face the charges related to perjury and tampering in a separate trial.

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