Breonna Taylor: Detectives’ testimony sheds new light on deadly raid

Friday evening, October 2, 2020
Teachers at Western High School in Louisville talked about the Breonna Taylor they knew who graduated in 2011.
Teachers at Western High School in Louisville talked about the Breonna Taylor they knew who graduated in 2011.
LMPD Sgt. Jon Mattingly was shot in the leg during the deadly raid on Breonna Taylor’s apartment in March.
LMPD Sgt. Jon Mattingly was shot in the leg during the deadly raid on Breonna Taylor’s apartment in March. (Source: Louisville Metro Police Department)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Newly-released recordings of grand jury testimony are offering new insights into the Breonna Taylor case.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s team presented the findings of its investigation over several days to a grand jury, which last week handed up three indictments on first-degree wanton endangerment charges for former LMPD Det. Brett Hankison. The charges are related to the bullets that went into Taylor’s neighbors' apartments. Nobody was charged directly in Taylor’s death.

LMPD Sgt. Jon Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove, who also fired their weapons the night Taylor was killed during a narcotics raid at her apartment in March, were cleared of wrongdoing.

More than a dozen recordings of approximately 15 hours of grand jury testimony were released Friday in the high-profile case that has made headlines around the world.

Among those who testified before the grand jury were two detectives who work for the Attorney General’s Office.

One of them, Herman Hall, was asked if drugs, money or paraphernalia were recovered from Taylor’s apartment.

What 15 hours of testimony, recordings reveal from Breonna Taylor case grand jury proceedings

“The answer to that is no,” Hall said. “(Officers) did not go forward with executing the initial search warrant that they had for Breonna Taylor’s apartment.”

Hall’s statement aligns with a claim made by Jamarcus Glover, a convicted drug trafficker and ex-boyfriend of Taylor. A short time before the Taylor raid, Glover was taken into custody during a separate raid at another location. Just hours later, in a recorded jailhouse phone conversation, Glover told an associate believed to be Adrian Walker that “Homicide came straight on the scene and they went to packaging Bre and they left.”

Hall also was asked why the officers involved in the raid were not wearing body cameras.

“I can’t answer that,” he said. “I don’t know why body-cams weren’t used for that.”

Hall was asked if there was a formal plan between the seven officers “as they made approach to serving the warrant.”

“I’m not aware of one,” Hall said.

Greg Wolf, another detective with the Attorney General’s Office, testified about Taylor’s autopsy report. He said two of the bullets that struck her -- one in the abdomen and one in her left upper breast -- did not exit her body. Wolf said the wound to her upper left breast also injured her lungs, and was the one that killed her.

“It also ruptured an artery that caused some severe bleeding,” he said.

Wolf added that Taylor suffered “a wound to her left lower thigh that exited actually ... her left rear upper thigh or side of her thigh.”

Wolf said Taylor also was shot in the arm, in the thigh and twice in her right foot. The medical examiner found a projectile in the heel of her right foot, Wolf said.

Wolf also testified about Mattingly’s injury. He was shot once in the leg in the initial moments of the raid. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired what he would later call a warning shot when he thought intruders -- not officers -- were breaking into the apartment. He was charged with attempted murder of a police officer, but that charge was dropped in May.

Walker’s attorney recently claimed the bullet that struck Mattingly did not exit Mattingly’s body, and could have been the result of friendly fire. But Wolf, a detective for nearly 40 years, testified that the bullet did exit Mattingly’s body, adding that it was fired from a Glock 43X, which he said was used by Walker that night. The 40-caliber Glock 22 is the standard service pistol for LMPD officers.

Hankison had testified that he felt “helpless” outside the apartment, thinking Walker was firing an AR 15 rifle. A detective who interviewed neighbors said some of them thought the same thing.

“It sounded like the OK Corral, like a fully automatic gun being fired,” one neighbor told a detective from the AG’s office.

“It sounded like a machine gun," said another.

At least two neighbors told detectives they heard, “Reload, reload, let’s do what we got to do. Get down.”

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