Jury recommends 35-year sentence for Louisville man convicted of murdering witness

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LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — A jury has recommended a 35-year sentence for a Louisville man convicted of murder for his part in the fatal shooting of a woman who was supposed to be a witness against his brother.

Troya Sheckles was gunned down in a Louisville park in 2009 in what prosecutors called a public "execution."

Media report jurors reached the verdict Thursday for DeJuan Hammond after a two-week trial and recommended the sentence Friday.

Defense attorney Ted Shouse said he believes Hammond is innocent and plans to appeal.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Elizabeth Jones Brown said she was "thrilled to get justice for Troya."

Hammond was accused of hiring Steven Pettway to kill Sheckles, a witness in a murder trial against Hammond's brother, Lloyd. Pettway was convicted of murder and sentenced to 55 years.

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