Expected witness lists issues in federal case against former officer Joshua Jaynes
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A former FBI agent and former long-time federal prosecutor said Joshua Jaynes, one of the LMPD officers indicted federally in relation to the death of Breonna Taylor, has not been given a legally fair shot even before his trial begins.
Mark Wohlander, who expects to testify in the Jaynes case as an expert witness, added it may, in some ways, work in Jaynes’s favor.
Wohlander was a federal prosecutor for 17 years and an FBI agent for six. He believes that much of what Jaynes’s former partner, Kelly Hanna Goodlett, has pleaded to as fact may not even be brought up in Jaynes’s case.
“Is that admissible?” Wohlander said. “I’m not sure that many things that were put in the factual basis will be admissible in court. That’s going to be up to the judge to decide.”
Goodlett has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in relation to the case.
In her plea agreement, Goodlett stated she knew that some information in the warrant used to enter Taylor’s home was false.
She stated that Jaynes knew Taylor was not receiving USPS packages for her ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, but included that language in the warrant anyway.
Surveillance pictures taken by Goodlett during the course of the drug investigation into Glover showed him picking up a USPS package from Taylor’s apartment. However, the FBI claims that information was at least six weeks old.
Goodlett also stated she and Jaynes met in a garage to discuss what they were going to tell investigators.
The plea agreement and the addendum includes several pages of detailed information and was written by prosecutors, Wohlander said. Prosecutors then had the ability to word things as they wished to make their case.
Wohlander believes Goodlett was under pressure because she was under another FBI investigation for “slushiegate” in which officers were throwing drinks at unsuspecting people throughout Louisville from their unmarked cars.
Wohlander believes the U.S. Attorney’s Office used that as leverage.
“Oh, absolutely,” he said. “There’s no question about it. Of course. But you won’t see in the plea agreement that they offered to dismiss the charges against another civil rights investigation. In fact, you won’t see in the plea agreement that they offered her anything at all. It’s the old wink and nod.”
Another thing Wohlander wanted to point out is that Goodlett’s plea and the addendum with the details were not sealed, something he thought as unusual.
He also noted that U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland held a national press conference referencing details before any facts were confirmed through trial.
Wohlander believes both of those things were done on purpose.
“By putting this on the front page of the paper, it’s already tainted a potential jury pool,” he said. “It’s already prejudiced these defendants in advance of their trial.”
“That’s an improper way to approach the case,” he added.
Wohlander believes the actions of the U.S. Attorney’s Office were so manipulative that it may constitute a prosecutorial misconduct claim by Jaynes.
He described that Jaynes could not even request the case be moved, because Garland’s public statements have potentially tainted potential jurors across the country.
He also is certain Goodlett’s credibility will be questioned.
For example, was she lying since the beginning of the investigation claiming the issue of the packages to Taylor’s home was just a mistake, or is she lying now that she has something to gain?
“Jurors aren’t dumb,” he stated. “They’ll definitely question that.”
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