Prosecutors file notice of exculpatory evidence in Brett Hankison case

Published: Oct. 30, 2020 at 12:20 PM EDT
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Breonna Taylor
Breonna Taylor
Former Louisville Metro Police Department detective Brett Hankison during an Oct. 28, 2020...
Former Louisville Metro Police Department detective Brett Hankison during an Oct. 28, 2020 pre-trial conference. Hankison was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment after shots he fired during the March 13, 2020 narcotics raid at Breonna Taylor's apartment went into a neighboring apartment.(Source: Michael Flynn, WAVE 3 News)
Attorney General Daniel Cameron
Attorney General Daniel Cameron

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Commonwealth has filed a notice saying it will present evidence that could prove favorable to Brett Hankison.

Hankison, 44, is a former Louisville Metro Police Department detective and is the only officer who was charged in connection with events that happened on March 13, 2020 that resulted in the death of Breonna Taylor. He was indicted Sept. 23 by a Jefferson County Grand Jury on three counts of wanton endangerment because rounds he fired from his service weapon entered a neighboring apartment endangering the lives of those living there.

The Notice of Exculpatory Evidence was filed on Oct. 28 in Jefferson Circuit Court. In it, the Commonwealth states that two long rifle casings were found in or near the apartment building where Breonna Taylor lived in the 3000 block of Springfield Drive.

One of the casings was found by Juniyah Palmer, the sister of Taylor, who also lived in the apartment where the shootings happened. Court documents say Palmer found the casing behind a storage chest in her bedroom, but does not say when it was located. That casing was eventually turned over to the FBI by Sam Aguiar, one of the attorneys representing the Taylor family.

The second casing was found on the morning of the shooting by Aaron Sarpee, a visitor to the building. The casing Sarpee found was turned over to Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office and eventually to the FBI for testing.

The Commonwealth says it will also present a witness with a felony conviction by the name of Cody Etherton.

According to Cornell Law School, exculpatory evidence is defined as “evidence, such as a statement, tending to excuse, justify, or absolve the alleged fault or guilt of a defendant.”

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