Judge: No mistrial in murder case against Dejuan Hammond - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Judge: No mistrial in murder case against Dejuan Hammond

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The ongoing high profile murder trial of Dejuan Hammond, accused of killing a witness in his brother's murder case, was delayed for 24 hours Monday after a judge found prosecutors had improperly not turned over evidence.

Hammond's attorney, Ted Shouse, had asked for a mistrial because of "prosecutorial misconduct," saying investigators have for five years had a summary of an interview with Hammond's former girlfriend that they had failed to turn over.

Prosecutors acknowledged the report of the interview with Princess Bolin was mistakenly not turned over - a realization they discovered in recent days as Bolin finished testifying in the case - but suggested it was inadvertent and  there were other remedies besides a mistrial.

Judge Anglea McCormick Bisig agreed, giving the defense the day to investigate the interview summary and allowing them to question both Bolin and the lead investigator about it.

Bisig seemed most troubled by the fact that the interview with Bolin included a possible alibi for Hammond. Bolin told police in 2009 that she and Hammond were at the mall when Troya Sheckles was shot to death in Shelby Park, according to the summary.

Shouse and defense attorney Annie O'Connell said their questioning of Bolin and entire defense likely would have been different if that interview had been properly given to attorneys. 

O'Connell told Bisig her remedy was "wholly insufficient," arguing it would take weeks to properly investigate the new evidence. The trial will resume Tuesday morning.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Lesousky told Bisig he was unsure why the report wasn't turned over sooner. He said he talked with former prosecutor Tom Van De Rostyne, the initial prosecutor on the case, who also didn't know why the evidence was withheld.

Shouse told Bisig the information was withheld on purpose and pointed out that the evidence right before and after the interview were given to the defense but there is a blank spot where the Bolin interview should be.

"It's mind boggling," he said at one point, telling Hammond he was "furious" about what happened. 

Shouse also questioned how this might effect the conviction of Hammond's co-defendant, Steven Pettway.

Pettway, Shouse told Bisig, was convicted of murder and sentenced to 55 years in prison last year without the benefit of having this evidence.

Leslie Smith, Pettway's attorney, was in court during the motion for a mistrial but could not be immediately reached for comment.

Prosecutors with the Jefferson Commonwealth's Attorney's Office declined to comment while the Hammond trial is ongoing.

Hammond's case was dismissed in October because prosecutors couldn't find two witnesses, but he was re-indicted in January.

Prosecutors have said Pettway was acting at the behest of Dejuan Hammond, because Sheckles had agreed weeks earlier to testify against Lloyd in the 2006 murder of her boyfriend and two other men.

Bolin testified in May at the Pettway trial that Hammond sent her into Shelby Park to look for a woman and report back to him shortly before Sheckles was killed.

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