Murder charges dismissed against Dejuan Hammond


by Claudia Coffey

Posted on October 30, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 7:02 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- In a shocking twist murder charges against Dejuan Hammond have been dropped.

Prosecutors say they had no choice because witnesses who were expected to testify against him could not be found.

Hammond was initially charged in connection with the 2009 shooting death of Troya Sheckles at Shelby Park, it was a bombshell to a case that's already seen so many twists and turns.

"I'm incredibly disappointed. We thought we were ready to go forward," Elizabeth Jones Brown, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney, said.

Dejuan Hammond was set to go on trial in connection with the March 2009 shooting death of a witness Troya Sheckles. Scheckles was gunned down in Shelby Park before she was scheduled to testify against his brother Llyod Hammond. The Commonwealth says it's clear to them why witnesses keep backing out.

"I think there is a problem with witnesses because this is a case about a witness being killed," Brown said.

One of the witnesses in this case has a warrant for his arrest and another is on parole. Hammond's attorneys’ said their client is disappointed.

"We were actually really looking forward to going forward and trying this case. Dejuan is innocent and we are looking forward to our day in court and we are going to prove that," Ted Shouse, Hammond Attorney, said.

Hammond is being held on multiple drug charges on other pending Circuit Court indictments and will not be released from custody. He is set to go to trial on an unrelated home-invasion case on April 7, 2014.

Any felony case that is dismissed without prejudice can be re-indicted.  The Commonwealth fully intends to re-indict this case and proceed to trial once the witnesses are located.