Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Olu Stevens, on Monday, moved to permanently dismiss charges against Kenneth Walker, the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor who was indicted for shooting and injuring a police officer during the fatal March 13 incident.
Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician, was fatally shot several times in her Louisville home while sleeping with Walker during a botched no-knock narcotics raid by the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department. Police later explained that they had been investigating Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, saying they believed he was keeping drugs and money in her apartment. They, however, found no drugs or money during the botched raid.
In the aftermath of the incident, Walker, who opened fire on the officers, said he thought the law enforcement officials were intruders as they didn’t identify themselves before bursting into the apartment. Taylor was killed after the officers returned fire.
The latest ruling means Walker can no longer be charged for the same crimes relating to his involvement in the shooting, CBS News reported. Following the shooting, Walker was arrested and charged with assault and attempted murder after one of the officers was reportedly struck during the crossfire. Walker has always claimed the officers did not announce their presence and he opened fire because he feared they were intruders.
The three officers who fired the shots – Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove – were not charged in Taylor’s death by a grand jury on September 23. Only Hankison, who was fired in June for his involvement in the shooting, was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree for firing into the apartments of Taylor’s neighbors. Cosgrove and another officer identified as Joshua Jaynes were later fired in January.
The charges against Walker were initially dismissed without prejudice in May last year, meaning it was possible he could be retried for the same offenses in the future. The charges were, however, dismissed last week as prosecutors reportedly wrote in a court filing that investigations “into this matter have concluded and no new information relevant to the charges against (Walker) in this matter has been brought to the Commonwealth’s attention.”
In an interview with CBS News, Walker’s attorney, Steve Romines, welcomed last week’s decision to dismiss the charges against his client.
“After the worst year of [Walker’s] life, prosecutors have finally acknowledged that he did nothing wrong and acted in self-defense,” Romines said. “He looks forward to continuing the fight to hold the real wrongdoers accountable for the harm that they’ve caused. Both he, individually, and our community, as a whole, cannot begin the process of healing until that happens.”