Latest homicide victim was a witness in previous murder case

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WHAS11.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 6:38 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 13 at 4:21 PM

(WHAS11) - A woman gunned down in Shelby Park Monday night may be connected to a string of homicides.

Troya Sheckles was shot execution-style while sitting with her former boyfriend at Shelby Park just before sunset.

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WHAS11 has been looking into her past and trying to determine why someone might want to harm her.

Troya Sheckles was scheduled to testify in a multiple murder and kidnapping trial that could have resulted in the death penalty for the suspect.

There are thousands of pages of evidence.

Sheckles may have been the star witness in the case, before she was killed in a park by a man some suspect was a hitman.

There were cries and tears Monday night as police investigated Louisville's latest homicide.

31-year-old Troya Sheckles was murdered while sitting with a friend in a crowded park in broad daylight.

"A lone male assailant came up, shot the female several times and fled from the scene," explains LMPD Spokesperson Alicia Smiley.

But the latest tears are not the first ones surrounding Sheckles.

Police are investigating whether the latest shooting stems from a long trail of death, which started with a murder at Sheckles' homes.

Sheckles first became a witness for the Commonwealth of Kentucky on June 3rd, 2006 when she was in this house with her then-boyfriend. She says two men kicked down the door and made their way inside.

In an interview with police, Sheckles said two men shot and killed her boyfriend, William Sawyers, and held her at gunpoint before she was able to getaway.

One of the suspects, Terrell Cherry, was found shot to death later that night.

But the other man, Lloyd Hammond, wasn't identified until about two weeks later when he was identified as the suspect in the murder of Kerry Williams.

Both of those cases are believed to have been cases of murder-for-hire, in which Hammond was allegedly paid between $20,000 and $40,000 to kill men who allegedly stole more than $250,000 from Hammond's contact.

Monday night's shooting victim, Troya Sheckles, called police after seeing Hammond's picture on the television and told officers he was the person involved in killer her former boyfriend, Sawyers.

She was scheduled to testify at Hammond's murder trial coming up in December.

"It just happened at her house. That don't mean she had to go too," says Sheckles' cousin, Stevena Curtis.

Lloyd Hammond was in jail Monday night at the time of the murder, so investigators don't believe he was the triggerman.

But police are believed to be looking into his close associates to see if someone else close to the case was involved.

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