LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Louisville's police chief has ordered an investigation into what led to the wrongful conviction of Edwin Chandler 17 years ago.
Chandler was charged with fatally shooting a gas station clerk in 1993. He was exonerated in 2009, in part through new fingerprint technology that placed another man at the crime scene.
A lawsuit Chandler filed against the city was settled earlier this month for $8.5 million.
Former Detective Mark Handy has been accused of coercing a confession from Chandler by threatening his family.
Chief Steve Conrad told The Courier-Journal on Tuesday that he made the decision after meeting with prosecutors. He said the results of the investigation will be passed to the commonwealth's attorney's office. Prosecutors there will decide whether any charges should be filed.
He said the probe will likely take six months and will include a review of testimony at Chandler's trial and in the lawsuit he filed against the city.
Handy is now a deputy sheriff. He has declined to comment on the allegations.
Chandler's attorney, Nick Brustin, has urged an investigation into the case, including the actions of Handy, who allegedly coerced the confession and fed Chandler information about the crime.
Retired Sgt. Denny Butler testified in the lawsuit that an investigation should be launched to determine whether Handy committed perjury when he testified in 1995 and earlier this year about the case.
Brustin told the newspaper in an interview that he welcomed the announcement of a probe, but noted that former chief Robert White made a similar promise in 2009 and didn't follow through with it.
"My hope this will be a real, full and thorough investigation," Brustin said.
In addition to an investigation into Chandler's case, Conrad said he also ordered that policies and training be reviewed to ensure that investigations meet "best practices and current case law." That review should be done in about six weeks, he said.
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