LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A judge decided that former LMPD officer Brett Hankison’s trial will take place in Jefferson County, despite the efforts of Hankison's legal team to change the venue.
What You Need To Know
- Brett Hankison's trial will take place in Jefferson County
- The former LMPD officer's legal team wanted the venue changed, citing the widespread publicity of the case in Jefferson County
- Judge Ann Bailey Smith said it should be possible to seat an impartial jury in the county
- Smith set the next hearing date for Brett Hankison for April 23
Hankison faces three counts of wanton endangerment stemming from the shots investigators said he fired blindly into a neighboring apartment during the raid on Breonna Taylor’s home in March of last year.
Hankison’s attorney Stewart Matthews said finding an impartial jury would be difficult.
“The air has been poisoned so much around Jefferson County and not just the county, the city of Louisville, but across the commonwealth,” Matthews said. “But it is not as pervasive as the other locations as it is in Jefferson County.”
Judge Ann Bailey Smith wants to first attempt to try the case in Jefferson County.
“I don’t think that we can just move this case to another county and not have all the publicity and security concerns follow us to that other courthouse," Smith said.
Smith said that they’ll be diligent during jury selection to find appropriate jurors. She cited the recent successful seating of a jury for the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer facing charges over the death of George Floyd.
After the hearing, Hankison and the prosecutors declined to comment. Spectrum News 1 did catch up with Matthews who offered his thoughts on the judge’s decision.
“I think it is apparent that if we can’t seat a jury the judge will move the trial,” Matthews said.
Smith set the next hearing date for Brett Hankison for April 23.