Prosecutor: Steven Pettway would have been convicted even if evi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Prosecutor: Steven Pettway would have been convicted even if evidence hadn't been withheld

Posted: Updated:
LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) – Steven Pettway should not be granted a new trial in the murder of Troya Sheckles because evidence withheld from his defense attorneys would not have had any impact on the outcome, prosecutors said in court records.

Pettway received a fair trial and was convicted “based on evidence that sufficiently and overwhelmingly established his guilt,” Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Elizabeth Jones Brown wrote in response to a motion to dismiss the conviction.

Pettway's attorneys have asked for a new trial because the Jefferson County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office has acknowledged failing to properly turn over evidence in the case of Pettway's co-defendant, Dejuan Hammond - evidence which includes information about Pettway.

After being convicted by a jury in May 2013, Pettway was sentenced to 55 years in prison for killing Sheckles in Shelby Park in 2009 to prevent her from testifying in another trial.

Assistant Public Defender Jay Lambert has accused former Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Van De Rostyne of intentionally removing a summary of an August 2009 interview with Princess Bolin, Hammond's former girlfriend, that contradicted her trial testimony against Pettway.


But Jones Brown said Bolin's trial testimony was “full of contradictions and reasons that she might not be telling the truth.” The recently turned over evidence “would have been unlikely to change any of this; rather it would simply have added to the confusion of Princess Bolin's testimony and motivations.”

The 2009 summary would have provided one additional version of events from Bolin – “a vague, unsupported tale that was different than the one she gave in court,” Jones-Brown wrote in the response, filed in Jefferson Circuit Court on Friday.

In that summary, Bolin said Hammond was with her at the mall during the time Sheckles was killed and she denied knowing Pettway very well.

At his trial, however, Bolin implicated Hammond and Pettway in the planning and slaying of Sheckles.

Defense attorneys could not properly cross-examine Bolin because they did not know about the contradictory statements, Lambert wrote in his motion.

But Jones Brown pointed out that jurors already had many reasons to be skeptical of Bolin's testimony and it was the strength of other evidence in the case – including an eyewitness to the shooting identifying Pettway – that lead to the conviction.

During testimony earlier this year, Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine admitted the initial Bolin interview was intentionally not turned over to defense attorneys until mid-way through Hammond's trial in April – which caused a mistrial – but added that he did not know the reasoning. Van De Rostyne has testified that he was trying to protect Bolin's safety.

Lambert is also arguing that Pettway deserves a new trial because of prosecutorial misconduct for intentionally withholding evidence.


However, Jones Brown says in her response that Judge Angela McCormick Bisig did not rule that prosecutorial misconduct had occurred in the Hammond case, saying the  actions “were the result of mistake, sloppy file review, and inadvertence, rather than a calculated” act.

Lambert declined to comment on Monday.

A hearing has been set for Oct. 30.

Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All rights reserved.
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.