LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Constable to plead guilty in shooting


The Jefferson County constable who shot a suspected shoplifter outside a southwestern Jefferson County Walmart will plead guilty next week, attorneys said Friday.

David Whitlock had rejected a plea deal recently that would have prohibited him from working in law enforcement and instead chose to take his chances with a jury. The trial was to start Oct. 16.

Attorney Brian Butler and Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Van De Rostyne both acknowledged that Whitlock will accept a modified plea agreement next week, but neither would discuss the details. Van De Rostyne did say that the deal "will be very close to the offer he got the last time."

"The terms have changed," Butler said, though he would not say if Whitlock would be allowed to remain in law enforcement. "If everything goes through, he looks forward to putting it behind him and moving on with his life."

The guilty plea is expected Tuesday.

Butler had advised his client to take the previous deal, which would have allowed him to avoid prison for the November incident, in which he was indicted on charges of assault and wanton endangerment.

The original deal included a guilty plea to assault under extreme emotional disturbance and wanton endangerment, with a sentence of pretrial diversion for five years.

If Whitlock stayed out of trouble and followed the conditions of his diversion, which is a form of probation, he would have been able to get the charges dismissed and would have had to agree to never seek another job in law enforcement.

Whitlock told police his gun "went off" by accident after a shoplifting suspect drove over his foot while allegedly fleeing, according to court records.

A Louisville Metro Police investigation found that video and witness accounts did not support Whitlock's claims that he had been struck, and it described him as approaching Tammie Ortiz with his gun pointed at her as he reached her vehicle's window.

Ortiz was wounded in her arm and face, and she was treated at a hospital and released.

Whitlock is free on a $10,000 unsecured bond.