Former Louisville cop pleads guilty in Breonna Taylor case

A ground mural depicting a portrait of Breonna Taylor is seen at Chambers Park, Monday, July 6, 2020, in Annapolis, Md. The mural honors Taylor, a 26-year old Black woman who was fatally shot by police in her Louisville, Kentucky, apartment. The artwork was a team effort by the Banneker-Douglass Museum, the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, and Future History Now, a youth organization that focuses on mural projects. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

A ground mural depicting a portrait of Breonna Taylor is seen at Chambers Park, Monday, July 6, 2020, in Annapolis, Md. The mural honors Taylor, a 26-year old Black woman who was fatally shot by police in her Louisville, Kentucky, apartment. The artwork was a team effort by the Banneker-Douglass Museum, the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, and Future History Now, a youth organization that focuses on mural projects. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

A former Louisville police detective who helped write the warrant that led to the deadly police raid at Breonna Taylor’s apartment has pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge.

Federal investigators said Kelly Goodlett added a false line to the warrant and later conspired with another detective to create a cover story when Taylor’s March 13, 2020, shooting death by police began gaining national attention.

Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was shot to death by officers who knocked down her door while executing a drug search warrant. Taylor’s boyfriend fired a shot that hit one of the officers as they came through the door and they returned fire, striking Taylor multiple times.

Goodlett, 35, appeared in a federal courtroom in Louisville on Tuesday afternoon and admitted to conspiring with another Louisville police officer to falsify the warrant. Goodlett briefly answered several questions from federal judge Rebecca Jennings Grady.

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Three former Louisville officers were indicted on criminal civil rights charges earlier this month by a federal grand jury. Goodlett was not indicted, but charged in a federal information filing, which likely means the former detective is cooperating with investigators.

Goodlett will be sentenced Nov. 22. Grady said there may be “extenuating circumstances” that may move the court to push back the sentencing date. Part of the plea hearing was also kept under seal and was not discussed in open court Tuesday. She faces up to five years in prison for the conviction.

She resigned from the department Aug. 5, a day after U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced new federal charges in the Taylor case.

Former officers Joshua Jaynes and Kyle Meany were indicted on charges related to the warrant used to search Taylor’s home. A third former officer, Brett Hankison, was charged with using excessive force when he retreated from Taylor’s door, turned a corner, and fired 10 shots into the side of her two-bedroom apartment. He was acquitted by a jury on similar state charges earlier this year. Jaynes, Meany, and Hankison have all been fired.

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The three former officers face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted on the civil rights charges.

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