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Ex-Louisville officer charged in Breonna Taylor case wants trial venue moved

As of now, the trial for former Louisville police Officer Brett Hankison is set for Aug. 31 in Jefferson County.

The attorney representing the former Louisville, Kentucky, police officer charged in the Breonna Taylor case wants to move the trial to another county.

Stew Mathews, a Cincinnati lawyer representing Brett Hankison, said he plans to file a motion with Jefferson Circuit Judge Ann Bailey Smith within the next two weeks.

As of now, the trial is set for Aug. 31 in Jefferson County.

Mathews said Thursday he is seeking a change because of the negative attention the case has received.

State law allows jury trials to be moved "if it appears that the defendant or the state cannot have a fair trial in the county where the prosecution is pending," according to the Courier-Journal, the local newspaper.

If a judge feels a fair trial cannot be held in an adjacent county, the venue can be moved "to the most convenient county in which a fair trial can be had," the Courier-Journal reported.

Taylor, 26, was shot and killed during a March 13 raid at her Louisville apartment after officers with a no-knock warrant broke down her door seeking evidence in a narcotics investigation. No drugs were found in the home, her family said in a lawsuit.

Louisville police officer Brett Hankison.
Louisville police officer Brett Hankison.Louisville Metro Police Department

Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fearing the home was being burglarized, fired a shot after officers rammed the door. Police said he struck Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly in the leg, but lawyers for Walker have disputed those claims.

Hankison, Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove returned fire. Taylor was hit six times and died in the hallway of her apartment.

Hankison was charged with first-degree wanton endangerment after bullets went into a neighboring apartment during the raid. He later pleaded not guilty.

Mattingly and Cosgrove were not charged.

Hankison was fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department in June. Cosgrove and Detective Joshua Jaynes, who applied for the search warrant in the raid, were fired earlier this month.

Taylor's death and the lack of direct charges in her killing sparked protests in Louisville and in other cities across the country.