Jury selection under way for fourth Hammond murder trial - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Jury selection under way for fourth Hammond murder trial

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The fourth trial for murder defendant Dejuan Hammond began on Tuesday, with opening statements expected to begin tomorrow afternoon or early Thursday.

Jury selection lasted all day Tuesday, with a majority of the 60-person jury pool acknowledging they had heard about the high-profile case at some point since Troya Sheckles was murdered in 2009.

Hammond is charged with murder in the slaying of Sheckles, who was shot to death in Shelby Park, allegedly to prevent her from testifying against his brother, Lloyd Hammond. Steven Pettway has already been convicted in the murder. Prosecutors will argue that Dejuan Hammond orchestrated the killing.

This is the fourth attempt at trying Hammond as there have been two mistrials and most recently the case was delayed during a third attempt in August.

On Tuesday, a key witness who had previously refused to testify, Ike Kinnison, told Judge Angela McCormick Bisig he would cooperate.

Kinnison told police in 2011 that Pettway came into a home after Sheckles was shot and said he had killed a woman, shooting until his gun was empty.

When he testified during Pettway's murder trial, Kinnison said he didn't remember making that statement and that he had been put "under a lot of pressure" by police.

But in a video played for jurors, Kinnison told police both Pettway and Dejuan Hammond admitted to him they were involved in the slaying of Sheckles. Pettway was convicted of murder and sentenced to 55 years in prison.

Dejuan Hammond's first trial ended last year when prosecutors couldn't find key witnesses. The second trial ended in a mistrial in April when prosecutors found a summary of an interview with a key witness that had never been turned over to the defense. Princess Bolin, Hammond's former girlfriend, gave him an alibi for the murder in the interview. She has since changed her story and is expected to be a key witness against Hammond.

The third trial was postponed it was revealed that prosecutors had a jail informant they had not told defense attorneys about.

Defense attorneys have asked Bisig to dismiss the case three times for prosecutorial misconduct, claiming prosecutors have repeatedly withheld evidence. Bisig has agreed with the defense in two of those motions that evidence was improperly withheld, but has allowed the case to go forward.

The trial is expected to continue through early December.

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