LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Editor's Note: Video attached is a related video from 2018.
A judge rejected a plea deal for former Louisville police detective Mark Handy, who has been accused of lying to the court in murder cases, leading to convictions of several people who did not commit the crime.
The plea deal would have sentenced Handy to five years, but he would have served his sentence on probation and avoid jail time. During Thursday morning's hearing over the telephone, Judge Olu Stevens rejected the deal and said the punishment in the plea deal would not be equal to the consequences his victims had to face.
"The penalty has to be some form of incarceration, otherwise the public will be wondering what are we doing if someone can commit an offense like this and send someone to prison for 10 years and be a convicted felon for a period of time thereafter, what kind of system do we have?" Stevens said.
Stevens said he would sentence Handy to five years, but Handy and his attorneys withdrew the guilty plea immediately after.
Handy agreed to a plea deal in June for a perjury charge stemming from the 1995 case of Brenda Whitfield, who was murdered in 1993. Edwin Chandler was wrongfully convicted in the case and served nine years in prison. He was cleared in 2009 and exonerated in 2012. According to the prosecution, Handy lied on the witness stand, taped over evidence and coerced a false confession from Chandler. Louisville Metro Government ended up paying Chandler $8.5 million.
"It wasn't Mr. Handy who took 10 years to try and convict him or to figure out a resolution behind this criminal case for Mr. Handy," Chandler said. "I've never in my life seen a case take this long."
"There's not a whole lot of words that can be said," Handy said. "I'm sorry. I pray that [Chandler] can forgive me someday and I will spend the rest of my life trying to make amends."
"I have no ill will towards anybody in this right now because it's just been too much time passed," Chandler said. "And I've tried to piece my life together and continue to move on."
Chandler also said the trauma has been "never-ending" for him as a result of this case. He told the court he felt the system could do a lot better if it "holds the right people accountable."
Handy's next court date is scheduled for Oct. 9.