Jurors in Hammond murder trial hear taped statements from key wi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Jurors in Hammond murder trial hear taped statements from key witness

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jurors continued to hear testimony from a key witness in the murder trial of Dejuan Hammond Monday, including a taped statement made to police. 

This is the prosecution's fourth attempt to try Hammond for the 2009 murder of Troya Sheckles. He is charged with murder, retaliating against a participant in the legal process, intimidating a participant in the legal process, unlawfully providing a handgun to a juvenile and being a persistent felony offender.

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.

During the taped interview played for jurors on Monday, Ike Kinnison, identified as a friend of Dejuan Hammond's, told an LMPD detective that Hammond told him he had no choice but to have Sheckles killed because she was going to testify against Hammond's younger brother, Lloyd.

Kinnison now denies the truth of that statement, saying he made it because he was under pressure from detectives.

Also on Monday, prosecutors asked Judge Angela McCormick Bisig not to allow the defense to again mention that the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office is conducting an internal investigation into a former prosecutor's handling of the Hammond case.

In his opening, Ted Shouse, an attorney for Hammond, told jurors that the office was investigating 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 told jurors during his opening.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Dorislee Gilbert asked that Bisig tell jurors to not consider those statements and forbid any future mention of the investigation, as it is not relevant to the trial.

Shouse told Bisig the investigation goes to the "heart" of the defense of Hammond, that the case was bungled from the beginning.

Bisig said the internal investigation is still pending and there has been no finding of wrongdoing, so using it as a "sword" in the trial would be "inappropriate."

However, she said prosecutors did not object during Shouse's opening, so she would not ask the jurors to ignore that statement.

Shouse asked that he be allowed to research the issue and argue later that he should be able to mention the investigation during his closings, which Bisig allowed.

The trial will resume Tuesday morning and could be finished by the end of the week.

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