Man Gets 55 Years in Prison for Witness Death

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A Louisville man has been sentenced to 55 years in state prison after being convicted of killing a witness in a separate murder trial.

Jefferson Circuit Judge Angela McCormick Bisig on Monday turned away request for leniency from the attorney for Steven Pettway. A jury found Pettway guilty of killing Troya Sheckles in Shelby Park in 2009. Sheckles was an eyewitness who reluctantly agreed to testify against Lloyd Hammond, who is facing murder charges in the June 2006 deaths of Terrell Cherry and William Sawyers, Sheckles' boyfriend.

Pettway's attorney, Pete Schuler, told The Courier-Journal the conviction and sentence will be appealed.

The sentencing was interrupted when Pettway's mother, Denise, stood up in the courtroom and began talking loudly and mostly incoherently about Sheckles. Deputies removed Denise Pettway.

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