Roger Burdette sentenced to 27 years in prison after crash that killed LMPD officer
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The man convicted of killing a Louisville Metro Police Department detective in a car crash on Christmas Eve 2018 was sentenced to 27 years in prison on Friday. It came days before the third anniversary of Det. Deidre Mengedoht’s death.
A Jefferson Circuit Court judge upheld a jury’s sentencing recommendation for Roger Burdette, the former Louisville Metro Sewer District worker who killed Mengedoht when his work truck slammed into her unmarked police car. He was found guilty on all counts in early November, which included murder, four counts of wanton endangerment, driving under the influence, and failing to yield to a stopped emergency vehicle.
Burdette was charged with driving under the influence of Hydrocodone and Clonazepam, both controlled substances for which he did not have a prescription.
The officers who investigated the crash, the people in the vehicle that was pulled over when Mengedoht was hit, and a cyber expert testified during Burdette’s trial. The cyber expert revealed Burdette had a pornographic video playing on his phone at the time of the crash between 2:12 and 2:20 p.m. The crash happened at 2:17 p.m.
Mengedoht’s sister Ashley Lewis spoke on behalf of her family.
“My sister was created by God and he had no right to kill her,” Lewis said. “Roger had no right to kill her. What is so crazy is that if he had tried to save her that day, I would have tried to save him now. He didn’t even try to save her, which messes with me even more badly. How does anybody do that, just watching her burn? How could anybody be so ruthless?”
In the end, for the judge and Mengedoht’s family, Burdette’s lack of accountability played a key role in the sentence he received.
“She’s gone,” Burdette said during his sentencing hearing. “So, I pray for their family.”
Burdette told the judge and Mengedoht’s family that he has never been a man who did not accept responsibility for his actions.
“It was an accident,” Burdette said. “I’m going to back off that. I’m not here to talk about me. I want people to know it does bother me. I have to be strong for the people behind me, for my two daughters and my family, because I’m going to prison.”
It was revealed that 57 people sent in letters to the judge in support of Burdette, including his ex-wives.
“Police officers are just people,” Burdette said. “You’ve got your good ones, you have your bad ones. I have friends that are officers.”
Burdette’s team said they will be appealing his sentence.
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