Trial to start for man accused of killing woman; court asks for special precautions


by WHAS11

Posted on October 22, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 22 at 6:44 PM

(WHAS11) -- Opening statements are about to begin in a high profile murder trial for a man accused of killing a witness.

Steven Pettway will be tried for the murder of Troya Sheckles she was killed in broad daylight at a Louisville park in 2009.

The case is so volatile that the courts are asking for special precautions to keep everyone safe.

Troya Sheckles isn't the only witness in this case that was killed.

That's why prosecutors want to make sure everyone who takes the witness stand  will remain as safe as possible

In the eyes of the courts, the murder of 31-year-old Troya Sheckles starts and ends with the Hammond brothers.

Sheckles was a witness to her boyfriend’s murder in 2006 on Market Street in Louisville.

She identified Lloyd Hammond as the shooter but was terrified to testify at trial, in fact she didn't show up originally for Hammond's first trial and the charges were dismissed.

But Hammond was re-indicted after the courts forced Sheckles to testify

Sheckles was murdered in Shelby Park in March of 2009

"Everyone's grieving really bad... this was a shock. this was a shocking surprise...," LaTonya, Troya’s cousin, said. "I haven't got to see her, so I still don't believe it. I know she's gone, but I still don't believe it."

Sheckles never got to take the witness stand but her recorded testimony was played at Hammond's trial.

Hammond's brother, Dejuan, and another man Steven Pettway are now charged with Sheckles murder.
Prosecutors believe that Pettway pulled the trigger but say Dejuan Hammond put him up to it, to help his brother's case.

The only other witness besides Sheckles was also murdered. That's why prosecutors are asking for special measures to protect the witnesses at this upcoming trial.

“We have had concerns expressed to us by witnesses - neck down only,” Tom Van De Rostyne, prosecutor, said.

Pettway and Hammond will be tried separately for Sheckles murder; a decision that was made on Monday, Oct. 22.

As we said this case goes back to Lloyd Hammond. He was convicted of the murder of Sheckles’ boyfriend but now that conviction has been overturned. In part the overturned conviction was because the prosecution used Sheckles’ statements but the defense couldn't cross examine her.

No word when or if the state will retry Lloyd Hammond. Opening statements are set for Tuesday in Steven Pettway's trial.