ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) — A Limestone County teenager charged with killing five of his family members in Elkmont in 2019 appeared in court Friday in preparation for his second capital murder trial.
Mason Sisk is due to be retried in February after a judge declared a mistrial in his first trial in September.
The mistrial order came after prosecutors informed the court that FBI computer experts – after three years – had finally unlocked Sisk’s mother’s phone. But the trial was already underway and the court ruled the defense needed access to the phone’s information.
The victims Sisk is charged with killing include his parents, John and Mary Sisk, his six-year-old brother Grayson, his 4-year-old sister Aurora and his six-month-old brother Colson.
During Friday’s hearing, prosecutors told the court they wanted to collect DNA samples from Sisk. The court granted that request, authorizing the collection of saliva and hair samples from Sisk on Friday. The prosecution has said it wants to test the alleged murder weapon to see if Sisk’s DNA is on it. Limestone County Circuit Judge Chad Wise also ordered the defense to be given immediate and daily access to Mary Sisk’s phone to analyze the contents.
The defense also wants a chance to have an expert examine the gun prosecutors say was used in the killings. The court ordered that once the prosecution receives a crime lab report about the gun, a copy of that report must be provided to the defense.
The Friday hearing had been set to deal with the defense’s motion seeking to bar prosecutors from using statements Sisk gave to law enforcement shortly after the killings. The defense argues Sisk was detained and questioned for an extended period without being read his Miranda rights. A video played in the first trial showed Sisk eventually being read his Miranda rights and later confessing to the killings. The defense has asked that the confession and any evidence gathered as a result of it, including the location of the alleged murder weapon, be barred from the second trial.
Prosecutors this week asked to continue the suppression hearing until January and Limestone County Circuit Judge Chad Wise granted that request, resetting the hearing for January 13.
The retrial is currently set for February 13.
Sisk was 14 at the time of the killings, he’ll turn 18 on December 25, court records show.