LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville judge Tuesday sentenced Lloyd Hammond to 65 years in prison, following the recommendation of the jury that convicted Hammond in the 2006 slayings of two men. 

In February, a Jefferson Circuit Court jury recommended 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.

The recommendation came after Hammond was found guilty of wanton murder and facilitation to murder in the 2006 deaths of William Sawyers and Terrell Cherry.

Prosecutors say Hammond killed Sawyers over cocaine, and murdered Cherry because he witnessed the crime.

The conviction was the state's third attempt against Hammond. In 2009, the case ended in a mistrial. A conviction in 2010 was overturned.

Hammond was also found guilty of retaliation and unlawful imprisonment in the Cherry case. He was found not guilty of intentional murder in both cases and not guilty of wanton murder, first-degree manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter and reckless homicide in the Cherry case.

Years of appeals kept the case tied up, and Hammond was re-indicted for the murders in 2016.

The case was further complicated when a key witness, Troya Sheckles was murdered in March 2009. Sheckles had agreed to testify against Lloyd Hammond after prosecutors had her swear before a judge that she would show up for his trial. Steven Pettway and Lloyd's brother Dejuan, were charged in connection with the shooting death of Sheckles at Shelby Park.

Hammond's lawyer, Robert Eggert, isn't ready to call it quits. He takes issue with statements from Sheckles that he doesn't believe should've been allowed in court. He also says the prosecution's star witness wasn't cross examined. "That was a denial of Mr. Hammond's constitutional right to confront his accusers. So those are the primary basis of the appeal," Eggert said.

"We'll be ready to defend that, and hopefully convince the Supreme Court to maintain his conviction," said prosecutor Frank Dahl.

In December 2014, Dejuan Hammond was found guilty in Sheckles' murder and received a sentence of 35 years in prison.

In May 2013, Pettway was found guilty of murder and intimidation and was given a prison sentence of 55 years.

The judge gave the Department of Corrections the option of taking 10 years off of Hammond's sentence, because of the time he served after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the 2006 shooting death of Kerry Williams.

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