Murder Case Dismissed When Witnesses Aren't Found

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A Jefferson County judge has dismissed a murder case after prosecutors were unable to get in touch with two key witnesses.

Judge Angela McCormick Bisig dismissed the case against DeJuan Hammond on Wednesday as attorneys were preparing to make opening statements in circuit court. The case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning prosecutors could seek to try the case again.

Hammond was accused of hiring Steven Pettway to kill Troya Sheckles, a witness in a murder trial against Hammond's brother, Lloyd. Pettway was found guilty of murder this summer and sentenced to 55 years in prison, but the Hammonds have maintained they are innocent.

A spokesman for the commonwealth's attorney's office, Leland Hulbert, said Hammond will remain in jail on other pending cases.

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