Dejuan Hammond 'snatched away' Troya Sheckles' life, prosecutor - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Dejuan Hammond 'snatched away' Troya Sheckles' life, prosecutor tells jury

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The case took years to piece together as investigators worked with reluctant witnesses to eventually link Dejuan Hammond to the 2009 slaying of Troya Sheckles, a woman "gunned down in a public park" shortly after she had agreed to testify against Hammond's brother, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Dorislee Gilbert said Hammond "snatched away" the 31-year-old Sheckles' life because "his little brother was charged with capital murder" and Sheckles had reluctantly agreed to tell a jury Lloyd Hammond had killed her boyfriend.

"He made her permanently unavailable" for Lloyd Hammond's trial, Gilbert said on the first day of testimony in Dejuan Hammond's 4th murder trial in Jefferson Circuit Court. "He had her killed."

But Ted Shouse, an attorney for Hammond, had an opposite theory for the jury: Investigators concluded Dejuan Hammond was guilty within 59 minutes of the shooting then focused solely on him to the exclusion of other suspects while also hiding or withholding evidence that might help the defense.

The reason this is Hammond's fourth trial is in large part because of prosecutors not properly turning over evidence, causing repeated mistrials and delays.

In fact, Shouse said, the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office is currently conducting an internal investigation into why former prosecutor Tom Van De Rostyne didn't turn over a summary of a 2009 interview Hammond's former girlfriend, Princess Bolin, had with investigators in which she supplied him with an alibi.

"They are going to ask you to convict Dejuan while they are under investigation themselves," Shouse thundered. At one point Shouse and the lead detective, Roy Stalvey, grappled over Stalvey's case file when Shouse tried to pick it up and show jurors.

Shouse went on for more than an hour and a half, alleging investigators "manufactured evidence," threatened witnesses, helped get a convict out of prison and used a "rogues gallery" of untrustworthy witnesses who said what police wanted them to say.

"This is nothing but street talk and innuendo," Shouse said, adding there was no physical evidence.

Shouse played for jurors an audio made when Stalvey accidentally left his phone recorder running while he spoke with Van De Rostyne about what they needed for witnesses to tell police, especially Bolin.

Speaking of Bolin, Van De Rostyne said the "b---- has been worthless," according to the audio. Not long after Stalvey and Van De Rostyne talked about what Bolin needed to tell them, she changed her story and identified Hammond as orchestrating Sheckles' murder.

Shouse showed video interviews with witnesses in which he claims Stalvey was "threatening people to get what he wants."

But Gilbert said Dejuan Hammond was in the courtroom on the day Sheckles was brought in and forced to swear she would testify against Lloyd Hammond in the murder of her boyfriend.

She said Bolin overheard a phone conversation where Lloyd Hammond said "something had to be done" and Dejuan responded that he would take care of it. A few weeks later, Sheckles was killed.

Another witness, Ike Kinnison, told police he saw both Hammond and his former co-defendant, Steven Pettway, after the murder and heard them discuss what happened.

Gilbert said Dejuan Hammond hired Pettway, then a juvenile, to shoot Sheckles. Hammond then disposed of the gun and Pettway's clothing, she told jurors.

Pettway was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 55 years in prison last year. His case has been appealed.

Don'Teze Hurt, Sheckles' former boyfriend, testified Thursday that they were sitting together in the park when a man wearing a red bandanna approached them from behind. Sheckles yelled for Hurt to watch out and took off running. The man, who Hurt later identified as Pettway, gunned down Sheckles as she fled. He stopped, pointed his gun at Hurt but for some reason didn't fire, Hurt testified.

"And then he was gone," Hurt said.

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