ATHENS, Alabama (WHNT) — Lawyers for Mason Sisk said in a court filing Thursday that Sisk — who is accused of killing five family members when he was 14 — was sexually abused in her childhood, suffered and witnessed domestic violence.
The filing aims to offer mitigating circumstances for a possible conviction, something less than life in prison without parole, if Sisk is found guilty of capital murder.
He is due to stand trial on September 12. Sisk also has a court hearing Friday, Aug. 26, on a defense motion asking the judge to throw out statements he made to the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office — including an alleged confession — the night his family was killed at their Elkmont home in September 2019.
Sisk is accused of fatally shooting 38-year-old John Wayne Sisk; his stepmother, Mary Sisk, 35; and three siblings – Kane, a 6-year-old boy; Rorrie, a 5-year-old girl, and Colson, a 6-month-old boy.
Prosecutors alleged in June that Sisk had anger control issues, attempted to poison his mother – who had a peanut allergy – with peanut butter and was forceful with his siblings.
In Tuesday’s court filing, Sisk’s attorneys listed a number of factors they argue the court should consider in determining a just sentence for Sisk, including:
Note: This list is taken directly from the court file
- The defendant’s chronological age at the time of the offense and characteristics of youth, such as immaturity, impetuosity, and the defendant’s inability to appreciate risk and consequence
- Defendant had diminished guilt
- The emotional maturity and development of the accused
- The defendant’s past exposure to violence
- The defendant’s ability to deal with the police
- Accused’s mental health history
- The defendant’s potential for rehabilitation
- The accused was bullied at school
- Defendant has mental health diagnoses that lessen his culpability;
- The defendant was a victim of and witness to domestic violence;
- The defendant was sexually abused as a child
The defense also claims that Sisk did not read his rights to Miranda before being questioned by investigators and later by Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely. The prosecution says Sisk was not in custody when he began answering questions.
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