Mark Handy: Ex-detective at center of 4 wrongful convictions turns in his badge

Mark Handy: Ex-detective at center of 4 wrongful convictions turns in his badge
Mark Handy

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - After being at the center of four overturned convictions over two decades, as well as a lawsuit filed last Thursday, Jefferson County Sheriff Sgt. Mark Handy has retired from his post, WAVE 3 News has learned.

This, as new information surfaces demonstrating there was an active federal investigation which a former Kentucky State Representative says was stopped.

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Handy took his acquired vacation time leading up to his last day, and has not been in the office for the last couple of weeks, the sheriff's department confirmed.

Sheriff John Aubrey declined an interview request, as has Handy numerous times.

The decision comes on the heels of two men been formally exonerated Monday for a murder in Meade County dating back to 1992.

In December, WAVE 3 News reported on Handy, exposing a history of sloppy homicide investigations and lies, as documented by the Kentucky Supreme Court. WAVE 3 News also exposed a recent allegation against Handy at the hands of a Louisville woman, claiming Handy assaulted her during an eviction. That woman has now filed a lawsuit against Handy and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department for keeping him employed.

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Handy has been at the center of three homicide cases, which resulted in four overturned convictions. In each of those cases, it was alleged that Handy acted inappropriately during his investigations by fabricating statements, feeding suspects information and coercing confessions.

The city has already paid $8.5 million in one wrongful conviction lawsuit in relation to Edwin Chandler's case. Chandler spent roughly nine years in prison for a crime the court determined he didn't commit.

Handy was a homicide detective with the Louisville Police Department before he became a Sheriff's Deputy.

There have been calls to charge Handy with perjury for lying under oath.

The Kentucky Supreme Court has acknowledged he lied under oath in a previous court document.

Yet Handy has never been charged with perjury.

Wave 3 News obtained LMPD's 5-year-long investigative file into Handy which included hundreds of pages. It was in the hands of three different detectives at times. It went from LMPD, to the Commonwealth, then to the US Attorney's Office who worked with the Department of Justice and the FBI.

Emails show the US Attorney's Office, the DOJ and the FBI were actively investigating Handy in February, 2017. On the 14th and 15th of that month plans were made to interview a possible witness the following week. But just two days later, before that witness was even questioned, former State Representative Denny Butler says he got a call from the Assistant US Attorney on the case who said his office decided not to pursue the case any further.

In August, LMPD learned the federal investigation was halted and closed their own case.

Wednesday, the US Attorney's Office said they couldn't comment on the emails or specific witnesses. They said their investigation was limited to possible perjury in one civil lawsuit. They say they finished that investigation and declined to prosecute.

WAVE 3 News has also learned that Louisville's Metro Council is now working with the Kentucky Attorney General to look into the case.

Attorney General Andy Beshear has now called for a review of other cases involving Handy.

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