LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Former Louisville Metro Police Detective Kelly Hannah Goodlett pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one count of conspiracy to violate the civil rights of Breonna Taylor for helping to falsify an affidavit for the search of his apartment which ended in his death in March 2020.
Goodlett is expected to be a star witness at the trial of two of his ex-colleagues, Joshua Jaynes and Kyle Meany, when they stand trial on civil rights charges in connection with Taylor’s death. A third ex-detective, Brett Hankison, is also charged in a separate federal indictment.
Goodlett, 35, admitted the charge before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings with Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, present in the courtroom.
Dressed in a black top, dark gray pants and glasses, Goodlett appeared with attorney Brandon Marshall, mostly responding “Yes, your honor” and “yes, ma’am,” as the judge asked if she understood her rights and the charges against her.
Goodlett has already been released but has been ordered to surrender her passport and have no contact with her co-defendants, including Hankison.
She faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, plus a fine of up to $250,000 and three years of probation. His sentencing is tentatively set for 1 p.m. on November 22.
Goodlett admitted to falsely claiming that a postal inspector checked that Taylor was receiving packages for her ex-boyfriend, convicted drug dealer Jamarcus Glover, at her apartment before the raid. In fact, postal inspectors said there was no evidence that Taylor received packages at her apartment.
Jaynes’ indictment alleges Goodlett met Jaynes in his garage so they could “get on the same page” after a postal inspector said the claim that Taylor was receiving the packages from Glover was wrong.
After the prosecution read the main facts of the plea agreement, Goodlett replied “yes, your honor” to the judge’s question if the facts were all true.
“Guilty,” she said toward the end of the hearing, responding to how she would plead.
Jaynes, 40, and Meany, 35, also face civil rights charges over the search that ended in Taylor’s death, while Hankison, 46, is charged with civil rights violations of Taylor; her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker; and three of Taylor’s neighbors; by indiscriminately firing shots in his apartment.
Taylor was killed in a March 13, 2020 police raid of her Louisville apartment.
Police raided her home where she was sleeping with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Thinking an intruder was breaking in, he fired a shot that hit Sgt. John Mattingly in the leg. Mattingly and another detective, Myles Cosgrove, returned fire, killing Taylor.
Hankison ran around the side and back of the building, shooting through a window and glass door protected by blinds and a blackout blind and sending several bullets into an adjacent apartment. He was charged and acquitted of wanton endangerment in Jefferson Circuit Court, but is now charged in federal court with violating the civil rights of Taylor, Walker and two adults and a child in the other apartment. .
Taylor was 26, and her death sparked months-long protests in Louisville and other cities.
Mattingly has since retired and Cosgrove has been fired. Neither was charged because U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said “the officers who ultimately conducted the search of Taylor’s apartment were not involved in writing the warrant and were unaware of the false and misleading statements contained therein”.
Jaynes and Meany are scheduled for trial October 11 before Senior Judge Charles R. Simpson III, while Hankison’s trial is scheduled for October 13 before Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings. But both trials are almost certain to be postponed.