Video shows shooting; Desmonte Leonard’s case heads to grand jury

Desmonte Leonard as he arrived at the Lee County Courthouse for the Wednesday afternoon hearing.
Desmonte Leonard as he arrived at the Lee County Courthouse for the Wednesday afternoon hearing.

OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - At a preliminary hearing for accused gunman Desmonte Leonard, a judge decided there was enough evidence in the case to send it to a grand jury.

Auburn police told the courtoom Wednesday afternoon, there is surveillance video of the deadly shooting that killed three men and injured three more at the University Heights apartment complex on July 11th.

A portion of that video was shown in court.  

A detective testified a fight that began between Leonard and a former Auburn football player, DeAngleo Benton, (who was not injured,) escalated into the deadly shooting.

In the video played in court, Hackett says you can see Benton being pushed back and restrained into a corner outside the complex by some people including his former Auburn teammates. Then you see the crowd lunge to the left because they are being shot at.

You can see John Roberts, in blue shorts go to the ground. He is still recovering from a gunshot wound to the head. You also see Eric Mack shot in the buttocks and you see Mack try and help a stumbling Roberts up. The two men eventually hold onto each other and walk out of the range of the surveillance camera, but you cannot see the shooter in the video.

Hacket testified there were several cameras that recorded the shooting, showing five out of the six people either being killed or wounded.

He added a witness picked Leonard out of a lineup and identified him as a shooter.

Meanwhile, Leonard's defense team called a woman to the stand who testified she invited Leonard to the party.

Leonard's defense team did not go into detail about what their strategy will be, but they did ask the investigator about statements made by the men who were with their client that night, particularly the statements that said they had been hit in the head with a beer bottle by one of the victims, Demario Pitts, who later died at the hospital.

Leonard will remain behind bars in Montgomery.

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