Desmonte Leonard sentenced to life in prison for 2012 murders - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Desmonte Leonard sentenced to life in prison for 2012 murders

LEE COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - A man convicted of shooting and killing three people including two former Auburn University football players was sentenced on Tuesday. 

Desmonte Leonard was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, after being found of capital murder for killing DeMario Pitts and former Auburn University players Ladarious Pitts and Ed Christian\, according to News Leader 9's Elizabeth White. 

A jury found Leonard guilty in 2014. Judge Jacob Walker upheld the juries recommendation and sentenced Leonard, with all sentences running consecutively. Restitution to the victim's families will be decided at a later date. 

Prior to the sentencing, Judge Walker said it was "a tragic set of circumstances" that led to Tuesday's sentencing. Walker also said he has overriden jury recommendations before based on information the jury did not hear during trials.

For the rest of the charges, Walker made the following sentences: 

  • 10 years for the guilty verdict of second-degree assault for shooting Eric Mack 
  • 10 years for the guilty verdict of second-degree assault for shooting Xavier Moss
  • 20 years for the guilty verdict of first-degree assault for shooting John Robertson
  • Life in prison for the guilty verdict of attempted murder of DeAngelo Benton

This sentencing marks the 12th day of the case. The fatal shooting happened after a pool party at an Auburn University apartment complex in June 2012.

Out of 12 jurors, five recommended Leonard get the death penalty, the other seven voted for life without parole.

The victim's sister, Sharonda Woods, says this process has been hard on her family.

"I'm really just glad it's over. It's really been draining us having to relive this. I'm happy with the verdict, but it doesn't bring him back,” Woods said. 

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