10/14/2011

Man, teen arrested in high-profile killing of witness

For years, police and prosecutors have said that Troya Sheckles was gunned down in Shelby Park because she had agreed to testify as a key witness in a homicide case against Lloyd Hammond.On Thursday, Lloyd Hammond’s brother, Dejuan Hammond, 32, was indicted and charged with Sheckles‘ murder. He is also charged with retaliating against a participant in the legal process, intimidating a participant in a legal process, unlawfully providing a handgun to a juvenile and second-offense persistent felony offender.
Also indicted was Steven Pettway, 19, who was a juvenile at the time of the shooting. He was charged as an adult with murder, retaliating against a participant in the legal process and intimidating a participant in a legal process.
Both are being held at Metro Corrections under $1 million cash bonds. They will be arraigned Monday in Jefferson Circuit Court. Each has several pending criminal cases and they were already in custody at the time of Thursday’s indictments.
Sheckles, 31, was killed March 23, 2009, just weeks after she’d appeared in court and promised a judge that she would testify against Lloyd Hammond, who was facing murder charges for the June 2006 deaths of Terrell Cherry and William Sawyers, Sheckles’ boyfriend.
Police and prosecutors have long alleged that Hammond had a family member arrange to have Sheckles murdered so she could not testify. Dejuan Hammond was in the courtroom at the time Sheckles went before the judge, witnessing her pledge to testify against his brother.
When Lloyd Hammond eventually went to trial in 2010, the circuit court judge overseeing the case allowed Sheckles’ statements to police to be entered as evidence in the case, despite the fact that she could not be cross-examined. Statements can be entered in court if there is reason to believe the accused had acted to stop testimony.
Lloyd Hammond was convicted in June 2010 of three murders, that of Cherry, Sawyers and 26-year-old Kerry Williams. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
For years, police and prosecutors have said that Troya Sheckles was gunned down in Shelby Park because she had agreed to testify as a key witness in a homicide case against Lloyd Hammond.
On Thursday, Lloyd Hammond’s brother, Dejuan Hammond, 32, was indicted and charged with Sheckles‘ murder. He is also charged with retaliating against a participant in the legal process, intimidating a participant in a legal process, unlawfully providing a handgun to a juvenile and second-offense persistent felony offender.
Also indicted was Steven Pettway, 19, who was a juvenile at the time of the shooting. He was charged as an adult with murder, retaliating against a participant in the legal process and intimidating a participant in a legal process.
Both are being held at Metro Corrections under $1 million cash bonds. They will be arraigned Monday in Jefferson Circuit Court. Each has several pending criminal cases and they were already in custody at the time of Thursday’s indictments.
Sheckles, 31, was killed March 23, 2009, just weeks after she’d appeared in court and promised a judge that she would testify against Lloyd Hammond, who was facing murder charges for the June 2006 deaths of Terrell Cherry and William Sawyers, Sheckles’ boyfriend.
Police and prosecutors have long alleged that Hammond had a family member arrange to have Sheckles murdered so she could not testify. Dejuan Hammond was in the courtroom at the time Sheckles went before the judge, witnessing her pledge to testify against his brother.
When Lloyd Hammond eventually went to trial in 2010, the circuit court judge overseeing the case allowed Sheckles’ statements to police to be entered as evidence in the case, despite the fact that she could not be cross-examined. Statements can be entered in court if there is reason to believe the accused had acted to stop testimony.
Lloyd Hammond was convicted in June 2010 of three murders, that of Cherry, Sawyers and 26-year-old Kerry Williams. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
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