Federal judge accepts updated plea deal, more prison time for former LMPD officer Brandon Wood

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After initially rejecting a proposed 5-year prison sentence for former Louisville Metro Police officer Brandon Wood Tuesday, a federal judge accepted a more severe plea deal calling for 70 months in prison.

"Any lower would not provide just punishment in this case," U.S. District Court Judge David Hale said after rejecting a sentence proposed by the defense and prosecutor of 60 months in prison.

Wood pleaded guilty in January to a charge of attempted enticement involving a teen in the police department Explorer program.

"Brandon Wood has accepted responsibility for his mistakes and is prepared to move forward with his life," defense attorney Steve Schroering said after the sentencing. 

Wood is also expected to plead guilty Tuesday afternoon in Jefferson Circuit Court on state charges of sexual abuse. 

As part of his federal sentence, Wood will be on supervised release for 10 years after he has served his prison term. 

After Hale initially rejected the proposed 60-month sentence, the prosecution and defense met and agreed to the addition 10 months, which is the low end of the federal sentencing guidelines. 

Hale asked Wood if he would like to say anything on his behalf, but Schroering said Wood would not be speaking "at this time."

Last week, Hale rejected the proposed sentence for former LMPD Officer Kenneth Betts of 15 years in prison. 

Sentencing on federal and state charges was delayed and Betts and his attorneys have until August to decide whether to accept a new sentence or go to trial.

Betts agreed in November 2018 to plead guilty to several charges in federal court, including knowingly distributing child pornography, possession of child pornography, transferring obscene material to a minor, enticement and attempted enticement, among other charges.

Wood was indicted on seven counts of sexual abuse with one alleged victim, a juvenile, stemming from incidents in 2011 and 2012. 

Wood and Betts were indicted in federal and state court for allegedly sexually abusing teens while with the department's Explorer program. 

The Explorer program, which has been suspended, mentored teens interested in becoming police officers. Students worked closely with officers at events such as the Kentucky Derby.

Under the terms of the deal accepted in January, Wood pleaded guilty to using a facility and means of interstate commerce for knowingly attempting to persuade, induce and entice a juvenile under 18 to engage in sexual activity, according to court records.

Between 2011 and 2012, Wood attempted to entice a juvenile to engage in sexual activity, according to authorities. Wood met the juvenile through the LMPD Explorer program during a camp held in Bullitt County. Wood used social media to make contact with the juvenile after the camp, attempting to entice him into sexual activity, according to the charge.

This story will be updated.

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Digital Reporter

Jason Riley is a criminal justice reporter for WDRB.com. He joined WDRB News in 2013 after 14 years with The Courier-Journal. He graduated from Western Kentucky University. Jason be reached at 502-585-0823 and jriley@wdrb.com.