Brett Hankison, 44, claimed that he has been receiving death threats online. His lawyer Stewart Mathews mentioned this when they participated remotely in an arraignment at the Jefferson County Circuit Court in Louisville, Kentucky, United States on September 28, 2020.
During the arraignment, Hankison pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for threatening the lives of Breonna Taylor‘s neighbors. Matthews asked Judge Ann Bailey Smith to let the former Louisville Metro Police Department officer to keep his gun for self-defense against death threars.
“No, I will not,” CNN quoted Smith as saying. She explained that people charged with offenses involving firearms should not possess any such weapons.
Smith required Hankison to attend every court hearing physically or remotely. He will appear in court at 11:00 a.m. on October 28, 2020 for a pre-trial hearing.
During a grand jury proceeding on September 23, 2020, Smith announced that a warrant would be issued for Hankison’s arrest and set a $15,000 cash bond for him after his indictment on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. As a condition of his $15,000 bond, he will not be allowed to keep any firearms pending a court decision.
In Kentucky, wanton endangerment is a Class D felony, the lowest class of felony in the state. If Hankison is convicted on all three charges, his sentence will be imprisonment for three to 15 years.
The LMPD hired Hankison in January 2003. On March 13, 2020, Taylor was killed when he and his former colleagues Jonathan Mattingly, 47, and Myles Cosgrove, 42, raided her apartment in southwest Jefferson County in Kentucky.
Hankison, Mattingly and Cosgrove were not wearing body cameras because they were using a no-knock warrant. Detective Joshua C. Jaynes, 38, obtained the no-knock warrant along with four others, which Jefferson Circuit Judge Mary Shaw signed on March 12, 2020.
On June 23, 2020, the LMPD fired Hankison for wantonly and blindly firing 10 rounds that created a substantial danger of death and serious injury to Taylor and the three occupants of the apartment next to hers. On September 23, 2020, he was booked into the Shelby County Detention Center in Shelbyville, Kentucky at 4:30 p.m. and was released at 5:02 p.m. after posting a $15,000 cash bond.