The trial for a former Louisville police officer charged in connection with Breonna Taylor's shooting has been pushed back to February 1, 2022, according to a pre-trial hearing held in Kentucky's Jefferson County on Friday.
Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Ann Bailey Smith postponed the trial of Brett Hankison from its original date of August 31, 2021, saying the new date was "the most realistic" one that she had because of a backlog of delayed trials due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Taylor, a 26-year-old aspiring nurse, was shot and killed by Louisville officers in her own home during a botched police raid in March 2020.
Citing too much publicity around Taylor's case in Louisville, Hankison's attorney, Stew Mathews, asked that the trial is moved to a different location.
"I think that there's subliminal pressure, if not direct pressure, on all of those people and fear of what could happen should they sit on this jury and should they render a verdict that is not the verdict that a large segment of the population wants," Mathews said in court Friday.
The judge declined that request.
"I do think that the prudent thing to do, is to try to get a jury seated here in Jefferson County and if we discover that we cannot, then we will move the case to another county," Judge Smith said.
Hankison was indicted last year on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree in connection with the shooting, for allegedly firing blindly through a door and window, with bullets entering an adjacent apartment where a pregnant woman, a man and a child were home, according to the state attorney general.
The three felony counts are for endangering the people in that neighboring apartment, the state attorney general's office said.
Hankison pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The other two officers who also fired shots during the botched raid were not indicted, meaning no officer was charged with killing Taylor.