Breonna Taylor

A memorial to Breonna Taylor at Jefferson Square Park. (WDRB Photo)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- During a news conference Tuesday to announce a settlement between the city of Louisville and Breonna Taylor's family, one of the family attorneys indicated that a decision on Breonna Taylor's case will be left up to a grand jury.

"We know that that indictment is coming from the grand jury," said Lonita Baker, an attorney for the Taylor family. "We have faith that that indictment is coming from the grand jury."

To help understand what that would mean for the case, WDRB News talked to a local attorney and legal expert about what happens in a grand jury proceeding.

"They hear it in secret," attorney Scott C. Cox said. "Their proceedings are secret, and after hearing proof and evidence about a case, if they're convinced a crime was committed, that there's probable cause to believe that and that a particular person committed a crime, then they can return an indictment against the person."

Cox said a grand jury in Jefferson County typically meets at the old jail building downtown but that as long as there are 12 jurors together, the location doesn't matter. He added that a typical grand jury will hear multiple cases from the county, but that may not be what happens for a grand jury hearing Taylor's case.

"Generally, you call one if there's a complex case like this, and you only want them to hear evidence for this one particular matter," Cox said. "That's all they'd hear."

The grand jury is made up of 12 jurors, all from the same county where the alleged crime occurred.

The jurors meet in secret, and a prosecutor presents findings, evidence and witnesses to the jury over the course of the proceeding. Because it's done in private, no counsel for witnesses is allowed.

"The grand jury can ask (witnesses) any questions they want," Cox said. "The prosecutor can ask them questions."

Once at least nine jurors agree on a decision, they hand it down to a judge. If at least nine of the jurors decided to indict the person(s) in question, a judge will read those charges aloud in court, usually the same day a grand jury has made a decision.

"They appear before the Chief Circuit Court Judge, and they present the indictment to the judge," Cox said. "The judge makes sure everything is in order, and he releases them."

WDRB News reached out to the attorneys for Taylor's family to find out if a grand jury has or will convene. None of them were able to be reached.

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