(AP NEWS) — Federal prosecutors told a judge Wednesday they intend to retry former Louisville officer Brett Hankison after a jury deadlocked last month over charges he used excessive force the night Breonna Taylor was killed by police in 2020.
A judge declared a mistrial Nov. 16 after the jury deliberated for several days but could not reach a unanimous decision. Hankison fired 10 shots the night of the deadly raid but did not strike anyone. His shots went into Taylor’s apartment and into a neighboring unit, where a child was sleeping.
Federal prosecutor Michael Songer said during a status conference that “the government intends to retry the case.”
A new trial would be the third attempt to prosecute Hankison for his actions the night of the March 13, 2020, botched raid that left Taylor dead. He was acquitted last year on state charges of wanton endangerment for shooting into Taylor’s windows and a glass patio door.
U.S. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings set a tentative trial date for October 2024, but noted that could change as prosecutors were interested in retrying Hankison in the summer.
One of Hankison’s lawyers is also retiring and he may choose to replace all his counsel, lawyer Jack Byrd told the judge.
The 12-member, mostly white jury struggled to reach a verdict in Hankison’s trial last month. At one point, the judge said there were “elevated voices” coming from the deliberation room and court security had to be brought in.
Songer urged the judge to let the jury continue to deliberate, noting the “enormous resources” required to retry the case. In declaring the mistrial, Jennings said the jury members had a “disagreement they cannot get past.”
Hankison is the only officer who fired his weapon the night of the raid to be criminally charged. Prosecutors determined that two other officers were justified in returning fire after one was shot in the leg by Taylor’s boyfriend.