Lloyd Hammond re-indicted on murder charges; to face new trial
Almost 10 years after the deaths of two men, Lloyd Hammond will once again stand trial for the slayings.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Almost 10 years after the deaths of two men, Lloyd Hammond will once again stand trial for the slayings.
On Tuesday, a Jefferson County grand jury indicted Hammond for the June 3, 2006 murders of William Sawyers and Terrell Cherry. It won't be the first time he's faced a jury in connection with the killings.
In Dec. 2009, Hammond's trial ended even before opening statements could be delivered, after a dismissed juror complained about an all-white jury. It was done in the presence of at least four other jurors who had been assigned to the case. The judge interviewed all of the jurors, but eventually declared a mistrial.
In 2010, Hammond was convicted of the murders at the end of a jury trial. But the Kentucky Supreme Court overturned that conviction in 2012, finding that Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Audra Eckerle had allowed the use of a recorded statement by a deceased witness without having a proper hearing authenticating the information. (Troya Sheckles, Sawyers' girlfriend, had reluctantly agreed to testify against Lloyd Hammond at trial, but she was killed on March 23, 2009, while sitting with a friend in Shelby Park. Her recorded testimony was used in the trial.)
But in Nov. 2014, the Kentucky Court of Appeals stated that the trial court erred in denying the inclusion of Sheckles' recorded testimony, arguing that, there was substantial evidence warranting admission of Sheckles' statements under the forfeiture by wrongdoing exception."
The grand jury's indictment of Hammond on Tuesday, combined with the Kentucky Court of Appeals decision, and a refusal by the Kentucky Supreme Court to review the case, means that the new trial will move forward.
"The decision by the Kentucky Supreme Court cleared the way for my office to seek a new indictment against Lloyd Hammond for the murders of these victims and we again seek justice for the victims, their families and our community," said Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine, according to a news release.
Hammond now faces two counts of murder, as well as burglary, unlawful imprisonment and retaliation against a witness charges. He has already pleaded guilty to manslaughter Monday in connection to the shooting death of a man in 2006.
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