Louisville judge declines to dismiss case involving false police - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville judge declines to dismiss case involving false police officer testimony

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Jefferson Circuit Court judge has declined to dismiss an assault and robbery case in which a police officer gave false testimony to a judge and Jefferson County grand jury last year.

Louisville Metro Police Det. Zachary Hoppes told a victim, a District Court judge and a grand jury that DNA testing positively identified defendant Marcus Brown, but "the statements were not true," according to a ruling by Judge Olu Stevens.

However, Hoppes testified that the Brown indictment was one of his first cases and "he simply made mistakes and expressed his remorse for them," Stevens said in the ruling.

The DNA was taken from a Gatorade bottle the victim said her attacker had drank from, but did not match Brown. The victim also did not positively identify Brown. But Brown's fingerprint was found on the bottle.

Hoppes testified he mixed up DNA and fingerprint evidence.

The Jefferson Commonwealth's Attorney's Office dismissed the case and re-indicted Brown with a new grand jury using the fingerprint on the Gatorade bottle as the key evidence.

In his ruling, Stevens found there was no prosecutorial misconduct in the case.

"The Court further finds the statements regarding DNA testing were mere mistakes on the part of the detective," Stevens ruled. 

Defense attorney Ryan Vantrease has asked Stevens to dismiss the charges, claiming the new grand jury should have been told about the DNA not matching Brown and the detective's previous false testimony.

"Mr. Brown still vehemently asserts his innocence and we will continue to litigate the case and defend him aggressively," Vantrease said on Monday. 

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