LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Steven Pettway is being sentenced and a jury has been deliberating since noon, his family taking the stand to defend him.
Pettway is facing a sentence of either 20 - 50 years behind bars or life in prison. If he receives life, he will be eligible for parole in 20 years. If he receives 20 - 50 years, he must serve 85 percent of his sentence, to make parole.
His older brother testified about their violent family history, at one point breaking down in tears.
"My father used to beat my mom with his fist. It was more towards me and I protected my brother. My dad never had a job, we had to get food ourselves and electricity was a luxury. My parents were crack addicts and my mom was in Central State twice. She is a schizophrenic," Eric Pettway, said.
Pettway's defense attorney admitted Troya Sheckles' murder was a horrendous crime against a woman.
Sheckles was a key witness who was going to testify against Lloyd Hammond. Prosecution believes Pettway was persuaded to shoot Sheckles by Lloyd's brother, Dejuan.
After the March 2009 shooting in Shelby Park, Pettway's ex-girlfriend told police he confessed to killing Sheckles.
Pettway's close friend said he saw him running from the park.
The prosecution told the jury that this was a premeditated murder that took the life of a beautiful young woman. They said Pettway did not believe in the justice system because he shot Sheckles in the back and expected to walk out of court a free man.
WHAS11’s Gene Kang is at the court house and is following the developments. Follow on Gene on Twitter @whas11GeneKang for instant updates.