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Relatives ask jurors to spare Auburn shooter

Desmonte Leonard
Posted at 6:13 PM, Oct 08, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-08 15:00:17-04

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — Relatives of a man convicted of killing three people at a party in Auburn are pleading with jurors to spare him from execution.

Shahara Leonard testified Wednesday that she and other relatives stand behind her 24-year-old brother Desmonte Leonard.

Leonard was convicted of killing two one-time Auburn University football players and a third man on Tuesday. But the woman says jurors would know Leonard's not a monster if they could talk to him for a few minutes.

A judge will sentence Leonard but jurors must make a sentencing recommendation. Jurors have only two choices: life in prison without parole or execution.

Prosecutors say Leonard should be executed for the shooting deaths of ex-Auburn players Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips in June 2012. Demario Pitts of Opelika also was killed.