Jury selection set to begin for officer facing charges from night of Breonna Taylor’s death

Brett Hankison is facing wanton endangerment charges for shooting into an apartment next to Breonna Taylor’s on the night Taylor was shot and killed by police.
Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 1:23 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The former Louisville Metro Police Department officer facing charges stemming from the night of Breonna Taylor’s death was set to appear before a judge Tuesday. Instead, Brett Hankison participated by telephone.

Hankison is facing wanton endangerment charges for shooting into an apartment next to Breonna Taylor’s on the night Taylor was shot and killed by police.

On Tuesday, Judge Anne Bailey Smith asked both parties’ lawyers about the biggest task on hand currently: finding an impartial jury. That means finding jurors unbiased enough that both sides agree.

Both sides seemingly agree on one thing: they don’t want media involved in the selection process. They were asked their thoughts Tuesday.

“I have my thoughts [on the media], but I don’t think they’re constitutional,” said Stew Mathews, Hankison’s attorney.

The prosecution agreed.

“Media would discourage the jurors possibly,” said Assistant Attorney General Barbara Whaley, “or could influence their responses.”

The court has summoned 250 people for the jury pool. That’ll be dwindled down to 50 and then ultimately to a 12-person jury, plus alternates. If media isn’t going to be allowed, there will have to be some procedural action taken first.

”If you are going to make that motion [to disallow media], please do it sooner rather than later,” explained Judge Bailey Smith, “because I will need to schedule a hearing, at least from the case law that I’ve found.”

Jury selection is set to start January 28. Trial is scheduled for February.

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WAVE — Louisville and Southern Indiana's NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @wave3news.(WAVE)