Desmonte Leonard in court for arraignment, enters not guilty plea

Desmonte Leonard in court for arraignment, enters not guilty plea

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - The man accused of opening fire and killing two Auburn University football players and one Opelika resident at an off-campus party near Auburn University in June was back in court.

Desmonte Leonard, indicted on six charges including capital murder, entered a plea of not guilty on all counts. Leonard appeared before Lee County Judge Jacob Walker with his attorney Susan James for his final arraignment hearing Thursday afternoon.

"Well I think he knows what the truth is and there is some comfort in that and I think he feels comfortable with his defense team," James said. "We're doing everything we possibly can. The court's been very accommodating to us thus far granting requests."

Police say Leonard, 23, opened fire with a .40-caliber pistol at a pool party near Auburn's campus in June, killing former Auburn football players Edward Christian and Ladarious Phillips and also killing Opelika resident DeMario Pitts. Wounded were current Auburn football player Eric Mack and two Roanoke men, Xavier Moss and John Robertson.

After Thursday's arraignment hearing, Leonard's next step is a bind hearing set for November 14 at 2 p.m. A trial date will be determined at this bond hearing.

However, district attorney Robbie Treese anticipates that it will not be any sooner than the spring of 2013.

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