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Man accused of watching porn on cellphone when he crashed into LMPD cruiser, killing detective

Exclusive video shows Roger Burdette reacting to news that Det. Deidre Mengedoht was killed
Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 8:53 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The man accused of crashing into the cruiser belonging to an LMPD detective who was performing a traffic stop was watching porn on his cellphone at the time of the fiery collision, according to newly obtained documents.

The prosecution against Roger Burdette introduced the new evidence Monday.

Burdette was driving a truck for the Metro Sewer District when he slammed into the back of the cruiser belonging to Det. Deidre Mengedoht on Christmas Eve 2018. Mengedoht had pulled a car over along Interstate 64 near the Belvedere in downtown Louisville.

Also, exclusive body-camera video obtained by WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters shows the moment when Burdette told an officer he had tried to move over to avoid a collision.

“Do you know what happened?” the officer asked Burdette.

“I come down the center lane,” Burdette said. “The slow lane, I’m sorry, and I was trying to switch over and last thing I know, I, I’m not even sure I hit the car at first, but I think I did.”

In another exclusive video, Burdette’s MSD truck is seen slamming into Mengedoht’s cruiser without ever appearing to slow down or swerve. That video was captured by a camera on the Belvedere Hotel. It also shows several other vehicles, including a large truck, driving around Mengedoht’s and moving into the left lane before Burdette’s truck comes into the picture.

The new documents allege there was “evidence that the defendant was using his phone to view a pornographic video at the time that (Burdette) was operating a semi-truck on the expressway and at the time that he crashed into and killed Detective Mengedoht.”

Prosecutors state he logged onto the porn site at 2:12 p.m. and that the crash happened at 2:17 p.m. Burdette didn’t log off the porn site until 2:20 p.m. The documents state Burdette had also watched porn earlier that day while on the clock for MSD.

The body-camera video also showed the moment when Burdette found out Mengedoht had died.

“Is there a lady in there?” Burdette asked the officer.

“In where?” the officer replied.

“In that vehicle,” Burdette said.

“Yes, a police officer,” the officer said.

“Oh my God, she’s dead then, right?” Burdette asked.

“Yeah,” the officer said.

“Oh my God,” Burdette said.

“I’ve got traffic units coming out; they’re going to have to handle the investigation,” the officer told Burdette.

“Oh my God,” Burdette said.

“Did you see a female in the car?” the officer asked.

“They, somebody told me,” Burdette said.

On top of a murder charge, Burdette also faces a DUI charge. The court documents state Burdette purchased painkillers, including hydrocodone, illegally and had text messages referencing their purchase. Prosecutors said Burdette did not have a prescription for those pills.

Burdette is due in court June 11 for a pre-trial conference, and his trial is scheduled to begin July 12.

Two settlements totaling almost $14 million for Mengedoht’s young son were announced in February.

WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters exposed MSD for paying for Burdette’s criminal attorney. After that report, MSD decided to no longer pay for his representation.

Tuesday, MSD Executive Director Tony Parrott released the following statement:

“Along with the Louisville community, MSD continues to mourn the loss of Officer Deidre Mengedoht. Her death is a tragedy and our deepest condolences go out to her family and the Louisville Metro Police Department who serve our community every day. MSD terminated the employment of tractor trailer driver Roger Burdette effective January 9, 2019.”

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