Ex-detective indicted on perjury, evidence tampering charges

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A former Kentucky police officer involved in cases that wrongfully imprisoned several men was indicted Wednesday on perjury and evidence tampering charges.

Former Louisville police Detective Mark Handy was indicted by a grand jury in Jefferson County, news outlets reported. He is accused of giving false testimony against Edwin Chandler and tampering with evidence in a murder case against Keith West.

Chandler was in prison for nine years for the 1993 killing of Brenda Whitfield before new fingerprint technology helped clear him in 2009. The city paid him an $8.5 million settlement after his lawyers showed Handy coerced a confession from him.

West spent nearly seven years in prison for the killings of two men he said he shot in self-defense when they allegedly tried to kidnap and rape him. West’s lawyer Amy Staples said she and her client were pleased with the indictment and that it would help their motion filed this month to set aside a guilty plea in the case.

West’s motion alleges Handy taped over a witness statement and also failed to report exculpatory evidence found inside the car West said he was kidnapped in.

Louisville’s Council voted this year to ask Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear to appoint a special prosecutor after Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine said there was not enough evidence to charge Handy with perjury in Chandler’s case. Beshear assigned Hardin County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shane Young as special prosecutor.

Handy left Louisville police for the county sheriff’s office and retired in February. The Courier Journal could not reach Handy for comment on Wednesday but he has previously said he couldn’t remember the details of the cases.

He is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment on Oct. 22, Young said.

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