ATHENS, Alabama — A judge on Monday declared a mistrial in the murder trial of an Alabama teenager accused of killing his father, stepmother and three younger siblings after new evidence from the one of the victim’s cell phones became available.
Lawyers need time to review a ‘voluminous’ amount of material contained in the phone belonging to the defendant’s mother-in-law Mason Sisk, who was 14 at the time of the shootings, the circuit judge wrote. County Limestone Chadwick Wise in a page. decision.
Wise granted a defense motion to end the trial, which was entering its second week, and send the jurors home. A second trial will begin Feb. 13, a court filing said.
Prosecutors accuse Sisk, now 17, of shooting his family dead in their north Alabama home in 2019, saying he told investigators he killed them because he was “fed up” with them. Prosecutors argued that Sisk told a teacher he wouldn’t be in school the following week, then took a handgun from a family friend’s home to shoot his family.
Defense attorneys, who lost an attempt to block jurors from hearing Sisk’s statements to police, argued the boy had no plan to kill or experience with firearms.
Sisk was charged as an adult with multiple counts of capital murder, but he cannot be sentenced to death if convicted due to his age at the time of the murders.
John Wayne Sisk, 38, and Mary Sisk, 35, were found dead in their home in Elkmont on September 2, 2019, along with their three children – Kane, 6, Aurora 4, and 6-month-old Colson. All had been shot in the head, authorities said.
Mary Sisk’s cellphone information became available to both parties during the trial, the judge wrote. The defense argued the messages in the phone showed a romantic relationship between the woman and Mason Sisk, but prosecutors said the messages did not help the defense.
In ordering the mistrial, Wise said prosecutors did not instigate the mistrial and it was not immediately clear why the phone data had not been released sooner.
Sisk initially told police he was in the basement playing video games when he heard gunshots and ran outside to see a vehicle drive away, but he then told investigators he had killed all five people, prosecutors said.
. Abandon trial declared in the murders people Alabama