LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – One of the officers involved in the Breonna Taylor case is fighting for his job.
The Merit Board hearings for former LMPD Sgt. Joshua Jaynes continued Tuesday with the questioning of the department’s former chief, Yvette Gentry.
The contentious exchange went on for hours with Jaynes’ attorney, Thomas Clay, grilling Gentry on why she decided to fire Jaynes.
“If she wants to rock and roll, let’s rock and roll,” Clay said.
Gentry was told by the chair of the board to answer the questions directly.
At issue is a line in the warrant that LMPD officers used to enter Taylor’s home the night they shot her dead last year. The line, written by Jaynes, indicated he verified through the US Postal Inspector that Taylor’s ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover was receiving packages at her home. Jaynes, it was later learned, relied on Sgt. Jon Mattingly to contact the US Postal Inspector.
Gentry said she fired Jaynes because she believed that statement to be false because the evidence showed Jaynes learned there were no packages going to the home. However, Gentry admitted that Jaynes obtained that information in April, a month after the warrant was executed.
“To me was unacceptable, it as factually not true, and I made the decision to terminate him based on that. Period,” Gentry said of the one contested line in the warrant.
Clay argued that at the time the warrant was written, Jaynes had relied on Mattingly’s statement telling him Glover was receiving packages at Taylor’s home.
Following vigorous questioning by Clay, Gentry also admitted Jaynes had no reason to doubt Mattingly’s statement at the time the warrant was written. Gentry said she fired him because Jaynes wrote he had verified the information himself. She said that if Jaynes would have written in the warrant that he verified through Mattingly that Glover was receiving packages there, then it would have been a different story.
“I understand that he wanted to get the drug dealers, I understand that Jamarcus Glover was a drug dealer, but you can’t cheat,” Gentry said.
Clay argued that reasoning is in violation of what’s known as the “Collective Knowledge Doctrine,” a law that allows detectives to rely on facts gathered by other investigators as their own. He presented a number of unrelated cases to the board which he said supported his argument that Jaynes’ did not have to specifically state Mattingly was the one who’d verified the package information.
Gentry agreed that under the Collective Knowledge Doctrine, Jaynes was not required to verify the information from Mattingly himself.
Gentry also said she was never made aware of LMPD Det. Kelly Goodlett’s testimony during her Professional Standards Unit questioning. In that interview, Goodlett stated she also heard Mattingly tell Jaynes that Glover was receiving packages at Taylor’s apartment.
Clay then called Goodlett to the stand.
Goodlett stated she was interviewed by LMPD’s Professional Standards Unit, the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office, and the FBI in which she relayed overhearing that conversation between Jaynes and Mattingly.
“Gentry was incorrect, wasn’t she?” Clay asked.
“Yes,” Goodlett responded.
Goodlett’s statement, Clay said, proved Jaynes had acted in good faith when he wrote that line in the warrant. Gentry insisted that the information was not accurate and said what Jaynes wrote in the affidavit was false, leading to his firing.
Clay brought in Alex Payne, the former commissioner of the Department of Criminal Justice Training as an expert witness. Payne testified that according to the Collective Knowledge Doctrine, Jaynes did not lie on the warrant.
The hearings are expected to continue through Wednesday.
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