Desmonte Leonard's capital murder trial date set - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Desmonte Leonard's capital murder trial date set

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Tuesday's court hearing. Tuesday's court hearing.
Tuesday's court hearing. Tuesday's court hearing.
Desmonte Leonard Desmonte Leonard
OPELIKA, AL (WSFA) -

Seven months, that's all that separates Auburn mass shooting suspect, Desmonte Leonard, and his capital murder trial.

An emotionless Leonard appeared in court Tuesday in dress clothes and glasses, with only 4 family members present.  The smallest crowd for a hearing since his arrest.  As for Leonard's mental state following a 16 month stay in the Montgomery County Detention facility, his defense attorney, Jeff Duffy says, "[Leonard] He's ready for trial."

Duffy says an April 2014 trial date is reasonable, the defense will be ready.  "We are still in the investigative stages.  There are still some things we need to do.  We are still working on discovery.  It's just a matter of fine-tuning everything and getting it ready for trial."

As for the prosecution, one piece of evidence has yet to be submitted to state forensics.  Prosecutors will give the status of that evidence at the final pretrial hearing in late January.

Now the focus is on April, and the foregone conclusion the defense will make a compelling case for change of venue,  "Sometimes that doesn't happen until we bring a jury in to see." explains Duffy.

The death penalty remains on the table. Leonard has been indicted for the shooting deaths of Edward Christian, LaDarious Phillips and Demario Pitts.  John Robertson, Xavier Moss and Eric Mack were shot during the July 2012 incident.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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