The scene in Shelby Park where Troya Sheckles was murdered.
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A Jefferson County jury has recommended that Steven Pettway serve 55 years in prison for the death of Troya Sheckles.
A sentence of 50 years was recommended on the murder conviction. The additional five years was on the charge of intimidating a participant in the legal process. The jury recommended Pettway, 20, serve the sentences consecutively.
One day after Steven Pettway was
found guilty for murder and intimidation surrounding the death of Troya
Sheckles, jurors recommended a 55 year sentence. It's justice according to Sheckles'
"Relief, happy, it's just over
overwhelming," said Wanda Carter, Sheckles' aunt.
During the penalty phase,
defense attorney Pete Schuler urged the jury to remember that Pettway was just
16 years old at the time of this murder.
"I think he showed a lot of
maturity throughout this proceeding and acted very respectful towards the
process and we are very thankful for that," said Schuler.
In March of 2009, Sheckles was found
shot to death in Shelby Park before she could testify in Lloyd Hammond's trial.
Hammond is accused of killing Sheckles' boyfriend while Sheckles watched. The
defense argued that Pettway was influenced by much older Hammond.
Pettway's older brother, Eric Pettway,
was called to testify on behalf of his brother. He told the jury his parents
were drug addicts and his father was abusive.
"My father use to beat my mom all the
time with his fists," said Pettway.
While he says he still believes his
brother is innocent., he respects the jury's decision. "I'm just sorry," said
Pettway. "I'm just sorry this all had to be like this."
The Jefferson County Commonwealth's
Attorney's Office believes this verdict and sentence make a huge statement.
"This sort of behavior and this
intimidation of a witness, this interference of the judicial sentence will not
be tolerated here in Jefferson County," said Elizabeth Jones Brown, prosecutor.
As for Sheckles family, this is just
want they needed to help them get through. "It's been real hectic, but
with the grace of God, we've tried to hold up and move forward and now we can,"
The jury returned their recommendation after less than two hours of deliberation.
The formal sentencing will be held on July 15. Pettway could be eligible for probation because he was a juvenile at the time of the offense.
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