Mason Sisk back in court for preliminary hearing

ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – Mason Sisk, the Elkmont teenager accused of killing five family members in 2019, returned to court on Monday. It was Sisk’s first court appearance since his murder trial ended in a mistrial last month.

The mistrial was related to the late unlocking of Sisk’s mother’s cellphone. At the time, the judge said the new evidence needed more time for the defense to consider.

Due to the mistrial, all pre-trial motions must be reconsidered.

During Monday’s hearing, the two sides discussed access to both Sisk’s parents’ cellphones. It’s expected there will be a report on the mother’s cell phone soon, and the defense is looking for an expert to try to break into the father’s phone.

The judge said he plans to issue an order to limit the time the two sides have on the phone. As of 3 p.m. on October 31, this order had not been issued.

In reference to the gun Sisk allegedly used to kill those five family members, the defense said they wanted an expert to examine the gun without disrupting the chain of command.

The state argued that the weapon should be returned to the Department of Forensic Science (DFS) before being turned over to the defense. The judge agreed and said the court would impose strict time limits on each party handling the weapon.

The defense did not object to the state collecting DNA, and the judge granted hair and saliva tests.

Both parties will argue a motion to suppress statements made by Sisk to law enforcement on December 2. The court said it would consider motions to possibly shorten those arguments.

Sisk’s second capital murder trial is scheduled for February 13, 2023, and an all-new jury is required.


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