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UPDATE: Murder conviction in killings of ex-Auburn players

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UPDATE: 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.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) - A jury is deliberating in the capital murder trial of a man charged with killing two former Auburn University football players and a third man.

Jurors began talks Tuesday morning after final instructions from the judge.

Desmonte Leonard is charged with capital murder, attempted murder and assault. But jurors can also consider reduced charges in the gunshot killings.

The 24-year-old Montgomery man is 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.

Prosecutors told jurors in closing arguments that Leonard is guilty of murder. But the defense argues he opened fire to protect himself after being attacked.

Leonard surrendered to authorities following a manhunt.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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