LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A Limestone County judge ruled Friday that lawyers for Mason Sisk cannot bring in a witness to talk about coerced confessions in his upcoming capital murder trial.
Sisk is charged with killing five family members in Elkmont in September 2019. His first trial ended in a mistrial last fall.
Friday’s pre-trial hearing marked the last major step before the second capital murder trial for Sisk. The prosecution’s first attempt to try Sisk ended in a mistrial in September.
That new trial is set to begin Monday, April 17, with jury selection. News 19 was told 200 juror notices have been sent out.
Mason Sisk’s attorney argued that his confession to investigators the night of the shooting could have been coerced — Sisk was 14 at the time — and they wanted to bring in an expert witness to testify about that possibility.
Prosecutors challenged that request and the judge today barred that testimony, saying assessing Sisk’s confession is up to the jury.
The defense also wants to include testimony that Mason’s father John told friends he owed people money for a drug shipment that his wife had reportedly called police to take away.
The defense says that points to a third party with a motive. Prosecutors want to bar any references to drugs.
Mason Sisk was 14 when he was charged with killing five family members, including three young children. He’s now 18. If he is convicted of capital murder he would face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Limestone County Circuit Judge Chad Wise said late Friday afternoon that he would issue a written ruling before Monday’s trial start on the issue of whether the drug testimony could be used in the case.
Sisk’s attorneys also issued a statement following Friday’s hearing:
“We are eager to begin this trial and defend Mason Sisk against the allegations made by the State. While we would have liked to have had the opportunity to examine John Sisk’s phone before it was destroyed, we remain confident that the people of Limestone County will reach a just decision at the conclusion of this trial.”