Murder conviction in killings of ex-Auburn players

AP News
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Posted: Oct 07, 2014 3:42 PM

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — A jury has convicted a man of capital murder in the shooting deaths of two former Auburn University football players and a third man.

Jurors began talks Tuesday morning and returned the verdict against Desmonte Leonard in the afternoon. He faces a possible death sentence.

The 24-year-old Montgomery man was charged with fatally shooting ex-Auburn players Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips at party in Auburn in June 2012. DeMario Pitts of Opelika also was slain, and three other people were wounded.

Jurors rejected Leonard's claim that he killed the three and wounded three other men after coming under attack at a party in June 2012. They asked for a legal definition of self-defense and Alabama's "Stand Your Ground" law before convicting Leonard..

Leonard surrendered to authorities following a manhunt.