Judge denies motion for new trial, sentence for former Hancock H - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Judge denies motion for new trial, sentence for former Hancock High coach

Leslie DeWitt (Photo source: Hancock County jail docket) Leslie DeWitt (Photo source: Hancock County jail docket)
HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

The former Hancock High basketball coach who was found guilty of inappropriately touching a student will not get a new trial.

Thursday, a judge denied a motion for a new trial filed by Leslie DeWitt’s attorney, Jim Davis. The judge also declined to reconsider DeWitt’s 30-year prison sentence.

On Tuesday, the judge will decide whether to grant DeWitt a bond pending appeal. Davis has made it clear he will appeal this case to the Mississippi Supreme Court if necessary.

Davis said an unqualified juror is the reason DeWitt needed a new trial. He also said the 30-year sentence was too harsh.

Circuit Court Judge Larry Bourgeois said several things stood out in his mind as he considered DeWitt’s sentencing motion.

“The victim said the relationship started when she was 13 or 14 years old, and it developed until she was 16. She said, ‘The defendant was my friend, lover, and mother. She was everything to me.’ She was in a position of trust and authority,” said Bourgeois. “When asked why she didn’t tell someone sooner, the victim gave a chilling response. ‘I was a little girl, and I was scared, but now, I’m a U.S. Marine. They taught me honor, courage, and integrity.’”

Bourgeois said he also read a letter the victim wrote, explaining the impact this ordeal had on her personal life.

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