ATHENS, Alabama (WHNT) — A Limestone County teenager charged with the 2019 murder of five family members in Elkmont appeared in court Friday in preparation for his second capital murder trial.
Mason Sisk is due for retrial in February after a judge declared a mistrial in his first trial in September.
The mistrial order came after prosecutors told 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 that the defense needed access to the phone’s information.
The victims Sisk is charged with murdering 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 take DNA samples from Sisk. The court granted that request, allowing the collection of saliva and hair samples from Sisk on Friday. The prosecution said they wanted to test the alleged murder weapon to see if Sisk’s DNA was on it. Limestone County Circuit Judge Chad Wise also ordered the defense to have immediate, daily access to Mary Sisk’s phone to analyze its contents.
The defense also wants the ability to have an expert examine the firearms that prosecutors say were used in the murders. The court ordered that once the prosecution receives a lab report on the firearm, a copy of that report must be provided to the defense.
Friday’s hearing was set to deal with the defense’s motion to bar prosecutors from using statements Sisk gave to law enforcement shortly after the killings. The defense argues that Sisk was detained and interrogated for an extended period without being read his rights in Miranda. Video released during the first trial showed Sisk eventually reading Miranda his rights and later confessing to the murders. The defense asked that the confession and any evidence gathered as a result of it, including the location of the alleged murder weapon, be excluded from the second trial.
This week, prosecutors asked to continue the suppression hearing until January and Limestone County Circuit Judge Chad Wise granted that request, rescheduling the hearing to January 13.
The new trial is currently set for February 13.
Sisk was 14 at the time of the murders, he will turn 18 on December 25, according to court records.
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