LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Two long rifle casings were found inside and outside of Breonna Taylor's apartment after the fatal March 13 police raid, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's office told a court Wednesday.
The information was filed in the criminal case of former Louisville police Detective Brett Hankison, whom a Jefferson County grand jury indicted on wanton endangerment charges in September for firing into an apartment nearby Taylor's. Cameron's office is prosecuting the case.
The evidence is considered “exculpatory," meaning it could be favorable to Hankison in his pending wanton endangerment case in Jefferson Circuit Court. The FBI has the casings, according to the court document.
Cincinnati attorney Stew Mathews, who represents Hankison, said he knows the casings are being tested by the FBI in Quantico, Virginia, but he doesn't know where they came from.
"I know there was no long rifle rounds discharged by Louisville Metro Police," he said in an interview.
Asked how the information might benefit Hankison's defense, Mathews said he was unsure at this point, and "I don't know that there is any importance" to the casings.
In the hours after officers shot and killed Taylor, then-Chief Steve Conrad testified he was told by two of his commanders that Taylor had fired at officers as they raided her home and she was on the floor in a “prone position holding a rifle.”
However, no rifle was found and Conrad testified he was later told a man fired a gun at police, which “was 100% you know contradictory of what I had heard.”
Hankison told police investigators March 23 that as officers burst into Taylor’s apartment, he saw someone inside holding a gun he was “certain” was an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.
But Cameron found that Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a single shot from a 9 mm pistol. It was the only shot he fired, according to Walker’s own statement and Cameron’s conclusions.
Numerous court documents, interviews and other records confirmed that there was no rifle found at the scene. No records indicate Taylor fired a weapon.
Attorney Sam Aguiar, who represents Taylor’s family, said the “presence of these casings on the scene, combined with LMPD’s failure to confiscate the assault rifles" of any officers involved “is yet another slap upon the integrity of the investigation.”
An LMPD spokeswoman declined to comment, citing the ongoing criminal case, and Cameron's office also declined comment, citing the ongoing prosecution.
Police shot and killed Taylor during an undercover raid on her apartment on Springfield Drive near Pleasure Ridge Park as part of a series of raids elsewhere that targeted narcotics trafficking. She was hit six times.
Nothing illegal was found in her apartment. Neither she nor Walker was the target of the early-morning raid. She was listed on a warrant because police believed a main target of the investigation, Jamarcus Glover, may have been keeping drugs or money at her home.
The other exculpatory evidence filed by prosecutors this week notes that one of the people who lived in a neighboring apartment shot into by Hankison has a felony record.
The other two officers who fired their weapons — Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove — were not indicted. Taylor was killed by one of Cosgrove's bullets, according to FBI ballistics findings released by Cameron.
In the recent filing, prosecutors for Cameron’s office said one casing was found by Taylor’s sister, Ju’Niyah Palmer, behind a storage chest in her bedroom in the apartment and “eventually” turned over to the FBI by Aguiar.
Aguiar said he turned the casing over as soon as he found out about it.
The other casing was found in the parking lot outside the apartment on the morning of the shooting by a man visiting the complex, according to the filing.
That man is the same person whom Cameron's staff told the grand jury corroborated officers' accounts that they knocked and announced their presence before using a battering ram to enter Taylor's apartment.
The man previously told police he did not hear officers announce or knock but later changed his account, police records show.
Walker was dating Taylor and with her after midnight when police raided her apartment shortly before 1 a.m. Walker, a licensed gun owner, told police he fired one shot from a .9mm when he believed intruders had burst into the home.
Cameron has said Walker fired the shot that hit Mattingly and there is no evidence to support he was hit by another officer.
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