Breonna Taylor’s former boyfriend was offered a plea deal from prosecutors earlier this summer that would have forced him to implicate her in an “organized crime syndicate,” his attorney said Monday.
Scott Barton, an attorney representing Jamarcus Glover, a twice-convicted drug dealer, said initial plea sheets included Taylor’s name among a list of associates, but that it was removed from later drafts. Louisville’s top prosecutor said that the offer was part of early draft negotiations with Glover and his lawyer that was removed by prosecutors and never part of the court record.
Taylor, 26, an African American emergency medical technician, was shot and killed during a police raid at her home in March. Her death has become a rallying cry against police brutality and racial injustice.
The news of the plea offer raised the question of whether law enforcement officials were attempting to provide an incentive to Glover to help justify the raid that resulted in Taylor’s death.
Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who is one of three lawyers representing Taylor’s family, said in a statement Tuesday that they are “outraged that prosecutors would attempt to justify” Taylor’s death by leaning on Glover to “falsely state — after her death — that she was part of an organized crime syndicate.”
“This is why the Black community has no trust in America’s justice system,” the statement said. “It’s enormously ironic that the accused drug dealer here acted with honor, refusing to falsely discredit” Taylor.
“The police killed Bre once, and now they’re trying to kill her again by killing her reputation and her good name,” they said. “Disgusting behavior by those who are supposed to be the protectors of justice.”
Barton said his client has maintained that Taylor had no involvement in the drug trade, which Glover also told The Louisville Courier Journal in an interview Wednesday. Glover was arrested Thursday in connection with two 2019 criminal cases, about 15 hours after he spoke to The Courier Journal, the newspaper reported. He has a $50,000 bond, jail records show.
“The police are trying to make it out to be my fault and turning the whole community out here, making it look like I brought this to Breonna’s door,” Glover said.
He told The Courier Journal that Louisville Metro Police acted upon erroneous tips to secure the no-knock search warrant carried out at Taylor’s home the night she was killed.
Sam Aguiar, a lawyer representing Taylor’s family in a wrongful death lawsuit filed in July, posted a photo to his Facebook account Monday that he said was a plea offer. In the photo caption, he claims Thomas Wine, the Jefferson County prosecutor, had named Taylor as a “co-defendant” in a deal offered to defendants July 13. Aguiar did not name the defendants to whom he was referring. Lonita Baker, another attorney for Taylor’s family, said Wednesday that Aguiar had received the photo from Glover’s family. The photo posted of the document appeared to list Taylor as a “co-defendant” in illegal activities leading up to April 22 — weeks after she was killed.
“Way to try and attack a woman when she’s not even here to defend herself,” Aguiar wrote in the post.
Responding to the Facebook post, Wine’s office said in a statement Monday that his office did not name Taylor as a co-defendant in a pending drug case against Glover. A case including Taylor as a co-defendant was never presented to the grand jury, Wine added.
“Our office has not and does not posthumously indict any person who is deceased,” Wine said.
Wine said that the agreement Aguiar posted on Facebook was a draft, and “part of pre-indictment plea negotiations with Mr. Glover and his attorney.” The plea deal draft was first reported Monday by WDRB, a local television station.
“Those drafts were never part of the court record and are not court documents,” Wine said, adding that Glover had implicated Taylor in his alleged criminal activity in jailhouse recordings.
Wine said that, when he was advised of the discussions, he directed that Taylor’s name be removed out of respect for her. Included in his statement Monday was the final plea sheet he said was emailed to Glover’s attorney July 21. It did not include Taylor’s name but it did list her address as a place where Glover picked up mail packages. The plea deal was withdrawn when Glover failed to surrender to court, Wine said.
A spokesman for Wine’s office, Jeffrey Cooke, said in a telephone interview Tuesday that Taylor was one of four people listed as co-conspirators in early drafts of the plea deal. He said that the prosecutor’s office did not intend to shame Taylor by naming her in those drafts but that it did so because Glover had allegedly implicated her.
On the night of the raid, Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were in bed when they heard the sound of someone knocking on their front door, according to her family’s lawsuit and Walker. Walker has said that he and Taylor shouted out asking who was there, but police did not identify themselves.
Police Lt. Ted Eidem said at a March 13 news conference officers had knocked on the door several times and “announced their presence as police who were there with a search warrant.”
Walker fired a warning shot and police proceeded to shoot erratically into the home killing Taylor, according to Walker’s interview with the police and the lawsuit.
Walker, who is a licensed firearm carrier, said that he and Taylor were scared and that he grabbed his gun fearing the home was being broken into. Aguiar has said that no drugs or cash were found at Taylor’s apartment after the raid.
One of the three officers who fired his weapon during the raid, Brett Hankison, was fired in June. The other two officers and the detective who requested the warrant have been placed on administrative leave.
Walker filed a civil lawsuit against the city and police department Tuesday.