UPDATE: Jury recommends sentence for convicted killer Lloyd Hammond
Hammond was found guilty of wanton murder and facilitation to murder as well as retaliation and unlawful imprisonment.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A jury recommended a sentence of 65 years for convicted killer Lloyd Hammond on Monday afternoon.
The jury recommended that Hammond serve 35 years for wanton murder, five years for facilitation to murder, 15 years for burglary, five years for unlawful imprisonment and five years for retaliation against a witness in the legal process. The jury also recommended that Hammond serve out his sentence consecutively.
Hammond's attorneys asked for a mistrial Monday after a key witness who couldn't be found in time to testify on behalf of the prosecution was arrested over the weekend.
Shaheed Al-Uq'dah had taken a plea deal in another case in exchange for his testimony in Hammond's trial, but police didn't find him in time to testify and he never showed up in court. Instead, prosecutors played a video of his recorded testimony from several years ago during the trial instead.
Al-Uq'dah was arrested Feb. 3, just hours after Hammond was convicted of several charges in the deaths of William Sawyers and Terrell Cherry in 2006.
Hammond's attorney requested a mistrial, saying they had no chance to cross-examine the witness. He says plans to appeal the recommended sentence.
Judge Audra Eckerle denied that motion, saying the prosecution was not at fault. Once the motion was settled, the jury began hearing testimony from family members of the victims -- as well as from Hammond's fiancee, who described him as a "great father."
Terrell Cherry's mother, Connie Cherry, addressed Hammond, saying her son was just a baby and asking for an apology. "Why didn't you just say 'sorry?'" she asked.
"Every day I have to drive past his grave on my way to work. I still feel guilty that I couldn't save him or do anything. And the pain hurts so bad."
Hammond was found guilty of wanton murder and facilitation to murder as well as retaliation and unlawful imprisonment in the Cherry case.
He is scheduled to be formally sentenced on April 10.
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