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  • Writer's pictureElizabete Costa

Dirty cop charged with misconduct. He sent innocent people to prison.

Former Louisville Detective Mark Handy, who sent at least three innocent men to prison, now could end up there himself.A grand jury in Jefferson County indicted Handy on Wednesday on one count of perjury for giving false testimony against Edwin Chandler and another count of tampering with evidence in a murder case against Keith West.Special prosecutor Shane Young said Handy is to appear Oct. 22 for arraignment.Both charges are felonies punishable by one to five years in prison.Handy was found to have coerced a confession from Chandler, who spent nine years in prison for the 1993 murder of Brenda Whitfield before he was cleared in 2009 with the help of new fingerprint technology.The city paid Chandler an $8.5 million settlement after his lawyers showed Handy fed Chandler facts to use in his confession and taped over surveillance video that might have pointed to the real killer. See also: Ex-detective now accused of abuse as deputy sheriffBackground: An ex-Louisville detective is facing misconduct allegations — againKeith West, now 44, spent nearly seven years behind bars for the shooting deaths of two men he said he killed in self defense when they allegedly tried to kidnap and rape him.In a motion he filed this month to set aside a guilty plea in that case, West alleged that Handy taped over a witness statement in his case and also failed to report exculpatory evidence found in the car in which West said he was kidnapped.Sgt. Denny Butler, who led the Louisville Metro cold case squad at the time, recommended that Handy be charged with perjury in Chandler's case.Commonwealth's attorney Tom Wine said he put six prosecutors on the case who spent two years reviewing possible perjury charges against Handy but ultimately concluded there wasn't enough evidence to merit charges. But the Metro Council earlier this year voted to ask Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear to appoint a special prosecutor, and he assigned Young, the Hardin County commonwealth's attorney, to the case.Councilwoman Jessica Green, who sponsored the resolution, said in an email Wednesday that she was grateful for the attorney general's office for intervening."I hope that a jury will convict Handy and that he has the opportunity to experience what Edwin Chandler experienced behind bars," Green said. See also: AG moves to drop murder charges falsely linked to satanic worshipMore: Ex-Louisville cop helped wrongfully convict 3 men. Now he could be investigatedHandy was also the lead detective in an investigation of Garr Keith Hardin and Jeffrey Dewayne Clark, who were convicted in the 1992 slaying of teenager Rhonda Warford.Handy testified that Hardin admitted sacrificing animals as part of a satanic ritual and later decided that he wanted to "do a human."But a judge ruled in 2016 that Handy wasn’t credible, citing his misconduct in the Chandler case and other evidence. The judge granted a new trial for Hardin and Clark, who had served 22 years in prison.In February, citing its duty to do justice, the attorney general's office dropped the case.Amy Staples, who represents West, said she and her client were very pleased with the indictment and that it would help their motion.Butler referred questions to Young. "We are going to let everything play out in court," Butler said.Wednesday's indictments provide few details other than a timeline. The perjury charge stems from February 1995 and the tampering with evidence charge even earlier, in February 1992. Handy, who left the Louisville Metro police department to join the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and retired in February, couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday but said in an interview Sept. 13 that he couldn't remember the details of any of the cases. He also said he was reluctant to comment on them because they are all still in litigation or under investigation.Asked if he was a corrupt detective or a good one, he said, "I'll let others be the judge of that."

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