LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Several witnesses have taken the stand in the Mason Sisk capital murder trial.
Sisk is accused of shooting and killing his father, stepmother, and three siblings, ages 6, 4, and 6 months old, on September 2, 2019, at their home in Elkmont. Investigators say Sisk confessed to the murders later that night but his defense team says he was coerced.
He was 14 years old at the time of the murders.
On the first day of trial, a jury was selected at about 2 p.m. Monday afternoon consisting of seven men and seven women, along with two alternates.
Tuesday morning, the state began its opening statement by saying that the reasoning Sisk gave for killing his family was “I was fed up with them.” Prosecutors laid out the night of the murders and how the victims were found in the home. All five victims died of gunshot wounds. They also described things Sisk did before the murders, including supposedly telling a teacher he wouldn’t be in school the next week and allegedly taking a gun from a family friend’s home.
In their opening statements, the defense says there was no plan, no writings, and no manifesto. They also said Sisk has no firearms experience and urged the jury to keep an open mind throughout the trial.
The defense also pointed out Sisk wasn’t read his Miranda Rights for 2 hours and 11 minutes the night of the murders. They attempted to get the alleged confession thrown out a few weeks before the trial, but the judge ruled to allow the confession and coroner reports to be used in the trial.
The state called their first witness to the stand, Lisa Watkins, who worked at Sisk’s school and knew Sisk’s stepmother, Mary Sisk. Watkins and Mary worked at Elkmont together, “for a little while,” according to Watkins.
Watkins claimed when she saw Sisk at the beginning of the school year, his body language seemed off. She said when she wished him well at the school, Sisk said, “It’s not gonna matter, I’m not gonna be here next week.” She said she tried to encourage him and was a little disturbed. “I eventually heard what happened the next week from a family member,” Watkins said.
The defense began asking Watkins questions on the timing of her interactions with Sisk and her relationship with Mary. Watkins says she knew Mary well enough to attend the baby shower for Grayson “Kane” Sisk.
Watkins claimed Sisk’s father, John, made “inappropriate comments” to Mary in front of her at the baby shower. She said she told investigators from her perspective, John was controlling. She claimed Mary worked a lot and he did not… “He was just degrading to her,” Watkins said.
John Paddie known to the Sisk family as “Gator” was the second witness on the stand Tuesday. It was his Florida home where the Sisk family stayed the weekend before the shooting.
Gator said that the only people at the home that weekend were himself, his wife and the Sisk family when his 9mm pistol went missing from where it was kept on a night table. He testified that they all searched for the gun but could not find it. Gator said Mason helped with the search but at one point left for a time to use the bathroom.
Prosecutors showed Gator pictures of a gun, gun box, and gun clip in evidence. He said the items were his and that the serial numbers matched his gun. Gator emphasized that he wasn’t sure who took the gun, he just knew it was missing.
The defense asked Gator about his time in a motorcycle club called Iron Coffins. He said in that club they identify their wives as their ‘property’.
Gator also said during his testimony that Sisk’s father, John may be in trouble regarding drugs. At this time the jury was sent out of the courtroom and Gator told the court, “John told him he had a large amount of drugs in the house, Mary had them removed, so he owed a lot of money to someone.”
After the jury returned, Gator discussed that John had shared concerns that the youngest Sisk child, 6-month-old Colson, was not his child but belonged to his brother Lance.
Gator said over that Labor Day weekend in Florida that John seemed worried and not himself.
Gator’s wife, Angela Paddie, was next on the stand. She talked about the weekend trip and the search for the missing gun. Paddie said during the search for the gun they unpacked the car and emptied all the bags.
She said Mason did take his book bag into the bathroom with him and when he came out she searched, there was no gun in his bag. Paddie said her only regret was that she didn’t pat someone down and call the police.
That night when they heard about the Sisk family shooting the Paddies called the sheriff’s office to let them know they were concerned Gator’s gun was used, according to Paddie.
She described Sisk as always quiet and respectful, she said during that weekend he played with his siblings and seemed fine.
Sisk’s 911 call was played in court. In the recording, Sisk said he was freaking out and needed help. He said he heard five shots go off, went upstairs and found his parents, brother, sister, and baby brother all shot but he didn’t see a car. In the call, the court could hear Sisk speaking with officers on the scene.
Body camera footage from Limestone County Captain Rhett McNatt showed first responders at the home and finding the bodies.
Court ended for the day around 4: 30 p.m. and is expected to restart Wednesday morning.
You can follow Tuesday’s proceedings below. App users, tap here to access the live blog.