Judge rules no misconduct in high profile murder case - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Judge rules no misconduct in high profile murder case

Pettway in court on Friday. Pettway in court on Friday.
Inside the courtroom on Friday. Inside the courtroom on Friday.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The trials of two men, charged with killing a woman in Shelby Park to prevent her from testifying, will go forward.

Attorneys for Steven Pettway and Dejuan Hammond asked a judge to dismiss their cases because of misconduct by the prosecutor. Judge Geoffrey Morris ruled Friday there was no misconduct, but prosecutor Tom Van De Rostyne still won't be trying Pettway or Hammond.

Van De Rostyne is one of 11 prosecutors who will likely be let go when the new Commonwealth's Attorney takes office in January. That means he will not be in the courtroom when Steven Pettway and Dejuan Hammond are tried for Troya Sheckles murder in May and June.

Sheckles was killed in 2009 because the state said she was the key witness in Lloyd Hammond's murder trial. He is Dejuan Hammond's brother.

Pettway's first trial ended in a mistrial after his attorneys argued phone calls from jail that could name other possible suspects were withheld by Van De Rostyne. Hammond's attorney made the same claims. "What else is out there that we don't know about?," asked Hammond's attorney Ted Shouse. "I'm obviously very concerned, but I'll go forward with the information I have and be ready for trial on June the 7."

Van De Rostyne said he always turns over any evidence he receives in a case. "I was not aware we had those phone calls. No one wanted to try this case, other than the Sheckles family more than me."

New trials are set for May and June for Pettway and Hammond. When asked if he would be trying the case, Van De Rostyne responded he won't be employed. "They'll be better off with Ms. Jones Brown," he said referring to his co-counsel Elizabeth Jones Brown. She will be staying on with the new Commonwealth's attorney, something Van De Rostyne got emotional talking about. "This family deserves justice and they need it. That guy worked his a** off. I'd like to be there for it," he said referring to the detective who arrested Pettway and Hammond for Sheckles murder. 

The two men will be tried separately for their roles in her death.

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