Mistrial declared in slayings of 5 people in Alabama

Sep 18, 2022, 9:31 PM | Updated: Sep 19, 2022, 9:57 am

ATHENS, Ala. (AP) — A judge declared a mistrial Monday in the murder trial of an Alabama teenager accused of killing his father, stepmother and three young siblings after new evidence from one of the victim’s cellphones became available.

Attorneys need time to review a “voluminous” amount of material that was contained in the phone belonging to the stepmother of defendant Mason Sisk, who was 14 at the time of the gunshot killings, Limestone County Circuit Judge Chadwick Wise wrote in a one-page decision.

Wise granted a defense motion to end the trial, which was entering its second week, and send jurors home. A second trial will begin Feb. 13, a court docket showed.

Prosecutors accuse Sisk, now 17, of shooting his family to death 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 and then took a handgun from the home of a family friend to shoot his family.

Defense lawyers, who lost a bid to prevent jurors from hearing about Sisk’s statements to police, argued the boy didn’t have a plan to kill or any firearms experience.

Sisk was charged as an adult with multiple counts of capital murder, but he can’t be sentenced to death if convicted because of his age at the time of the slayings.

John Wayne Sisk, 38, and Mary Sisk, 35, were found dead in their home in Elkmont on Sept. 2, 2019, along with their three children — 6-year-old Kane, 4-year-old Aurora and 6-month-old Colson. All had been killed with gunshots to the head, authorities said.

Information from Mary Sisk’s cellphone became available to both sides during the trial, the judge wrote. The defense argued that messages in the phone showed a loving relationship between the woman and Mason Sisk, but prosecutors said the messages didn’t help the defense.

In ordering a mistrial, Wise said prosecutors didn’t cause the mistrial and it wasn’t immediately clear why the phone data hadn’t been released earlier.

Sisk initially told police he was in the basement playing video games when he heard gunshots and ran outside to see a vehicle pulling away, but he later told investigators he’d killed the five, prosecutors said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Former Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy answers questions after his legal...
Luis Andres Henao, The Associated Press

After Supreme Court backs Bremerton praying coach, no sweeping changes

Three months after the decision, there’s no sign that large numbers of coaches have been newly inspired to follow Joseph Kennedy’s high-profile example.
16 hours ago
(Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

GOP candidate apologizes after antisemitic post surfaces

A GOP candidate for the Washington Legislature has acknowledged that a post he put on social media in 2020 is antisemitic.
16 hours ago
FILE - The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford heads to the Norfolk, Va., naval station on April 14...
Associated Press

US Navy’s newest carrier to deploy, train with NATO nations

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Following years of delays and problems with its new technology, the U.S. Navy’s most advanced aircraft carrier embarks on its first deployment next week and will train with other NATO countries at a time of increasing Russian aggression in Ukraine. The USS Gerald R. Ford leaves the world’s largest Navy base […]
16 hours ago
An electric company worker remove tree branches felled on power lines in the wake of Hurricane Ian ...
Associated Press

Cubans suffer as hurricane-caused power outage goes on

HAVANA (AP) — Ivette Garrido hurried last week to get the 6 kilograms (13 pounds) of subsidized chicken allotted to her family by Cuba’s government and put it in the freezer, happy to have meat to get through Hurricane Ian. Now she is considering giving the chicken to her three dogs before it goes bad […]
16 hours ago
This image from video provided by KABC-TV shows a truck owned by Anthony John Graziano after a shoo...
Associated Press

Police: Teen saw father shoot, kill mother in California

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Southern California teenager killed this week alongside her father in a shootout with law enforcement was with him a day earlier when he fatally shot her mother, police said Thursday. Savannah Graziano, 15, was in the back of her father’s pickup truck when he gunned down her mother, Tracy Martinez, […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Scrutinized charter school operator drops Tennessee appeals

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A contentious charter school operator linked to a conservative Michigan college has dropped its appeals in Tennessee seeking to open three schools there, despite local school boards rejecting their initial request. The school operator’s decision ends high-profile speculation — at least for now — over the fate of the charter schools. […]
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Mistrial declared in slayings of 5 people in Alabama