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Roger Burdette to serve 27 years in prison for death of LMPD Det. Deidre Mengedoht

A Louisville judge is sticking to the jury's recommendation that Burdette serve 27 years for murder.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Louisville judge said he is sticking with the jury's recommendation that Roger Burdette serve 27 years in prison for the 2018 death of LMPD Detective Deidre Mengedoht. 

In early November, after three hours of deliberation, a jury found Burdette guilty of murder and other charges. 

In addition to murder, Burdette was found guilty of four counts of wanton endangerment, operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and failure to give right of way to a stopped emergency vehicle.

The jury recommended Burdette serve 27 years for murder and five years for wanton endangerment to be served concurrently. Burdette has already served nearly three years on home incarceration.

Burdette was released on bond and will be under the same conditions he was previously under prior to the trial.

Following the verdict, LMPD released the following statement:

The tragic loss of Detective Deidre Mengedoht is something forever etched in the history of the Louisville Metro Police Department. Today, an individual was held accountable for her death. We are grateful for the hard work and dedication by our investigators and the Commonwealth Attorney's Office in both the preparation and successful prosecution of this case. May this help bring a sense of closure and peace to an incredibly difficult loss for LMPD, the family and friends of Deidre Mengedoht and the community. We will never forget your sacrifice, Detective Deidre Mengedoht.

RCFOP Lodge 614 also released a statement:

The FOP feels that the evidence in this case was clear and overwhelming. We would like to thank all those who worked so diligently with the prosecution team. Their efforts were successful and hopefully help bring some closure to the Mengedoht family, including her police family. The system worked as designed. Mr. Burdette received due process and the jury came to an appropriate verdict.

We all miss seeing Deidre's smiling face and we will always remember that she gave her life in service to our community.

Here's what else happened Tuesday, Nov. 2:

After taking three days off, the defense and prosecution called additional witnesses to testify about the crash that killed Louisville Metro Police (LMPD) Det. Mengedoht on Christmas Eve in 2018.

LMPD Traffic Officer Dean Kisling returned to the stand Tuesday morning to finish cross-examination. On Friday, Kisling testified about Burdette's driving patterns on the day his MSD truck crashed into Mengedoht's police cruiser on I-64, saying there was no "substantial length of skid marks or braking evident" at the crash site. 

The defense's first witness was James Stephen Sobek, an expert in accident reconstruction specifically dealing with lighting and visibility. Sobek said he took a camera to try and recreate the view Burdette would have had as he traveled on the interstate.

Other witnesses who took the stand for the defense included, Christopher Mattingly, a Louisville Metro EMS Paramedic. He testified that Burdette appeared to be acting appropriately for the situation he was in. Mattingly said he accessed Roger Burdette at the scene and said his “pupils appeared normal.” 

The prosecution argued Mattingly was looking at Burdette as a medical professional, not an investigator, and that Mattingly was performing a medical assessment. 

Burdette’s supervisor at MSD, Stacy Huber told the jury Burdette had hearing issues and often read lips. The defense argued that’s why he might have been slow to respond to officers on the scene.

Court recessed after the defense called its final witnesses and experts. It resumed around 2:00 p.m. for closing arguments and jury instructions.

During closing arguments, defense attorney Amy Hannah asked, "Was he impaired? No. Was he distracted? No. Was this just an accident? Yes." 

Commonwealth attorney Kristi Gray zeroed in on the officer who died, Det. Deidre Mengedoht.

"She died doing her job on Christmas Eve, and the defendant - driving 55 MPH down 64 under the influence of two controlled substances watching a pornographic video - slammed into her."

Jurors were given instructions and deliberated for three hours before returning the guilty verdict. 

See what happened during the first week of witness testimony here.

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