Outburst in court as Pettway learns sentence
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --Family members of a woman gunned down at a Louisville park say her killer has shown no remorse. There were tense moments during Steven Pettway's sentencing today as family from both sides got involved.
"Looking at him and there's no remorse in him so he does not deserve to get any leniency he acts like nothing has happened," Sheckles' cousin, Lacreesha Carter, said in court.
Steven Pettway was just 16 years old when prosecutors say he was recruited by a much older man to serve out the ultimate revenge. Lloyd Hammond is accused of murder. Troya Sheckles agreed to testify against him. But she never made it to court. In 2009 she was gunned down in broad daylight at Shelby Park. Prosecutors say Hammond's brother, Dejuan Hammond, convinced Pettway and paid him to serve the hit.
"I think he deserves everything you all are going to give him. 20 years, 50 years, the rest of his life, death, whatever, he deserves it," says Simone White, Sheckles' cousin.
A jury recommended Pettway serve 55 years after finding him guilty of murder and retaliating against a witness. Judge Angela Bisig made it official.
"I do believe the sentence of 50 years for murder and 5 years for intimidating a participant is appropriate for the seriousness of the offense committed here," ruled Bisig.
But Pettway's attorneys say this case is not that clear cut. They argue he comes from a troubled and abusive home. That his mother suffers from schizophrenia. In fact, she had to be escorted out of court during sentencing because of an outburst. The defense team says technical errors during his trial make it likely Pettway's conviction will be overturned.
"He knows it's going to be a long road ahead on appeals and we're just going to move on down to the Kentucky Supreme Court," said Pete Shuler, Pettway's Attorney.
Prosecutors think the conviction will stick as they prepare for another trial in this intertwined case. The man who prosecutors say convinced Pettway to kill Sheckles, Dejuan Hammond, also faces murder charges. His trial is set to begin in September. Lloyd Hammond is also currently behind bars. He was convicted in the deaths of three people but the conviction was overturned. He's awaiting a new trial.
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